Homemade Intensive Organic Night Cream for Face & Neck

7 Comments

2015-12-08 09.45.45

I have a lot of people tell me they aren’t creative or crafty in or out of the kitchen.

I don’t believe that’s true.

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I believe that all of us, no matter who we are, have a little bit of art inside us of us.

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The definition of an artist is: a person skilled at a particular task or occupation,  a person whose work shows creative ability or skill, a person who displays in his work qualities required in art, such as sensibility and imagination.

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That’s all an “artist” is and we all have those skills and abilities in one way or another. 

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I can’t free hand draw, or paint beautiful water colors, or sew well, or sing well, play a sport, or even play an instrument.

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But I can create. And I think creation is art.

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I love to create a beautiful garden, a comfortable home, I love to create recipes, little craft projects, and I also enjoy making healthy face and body products.

Trust me, if any of it was difficult drudgery, I wouldn’t do it.

Art is something you LOVE to do that comes naturally to YOU. 

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Yesterday I focused on  making an organic anti-aging night cream.

It’s simple to make, it’s luxurious, and it’s a special treat for yourself and your loved ones.

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~ Quench ~

Intensive Organic Night Cream for Face & Neck

By Gluten Free Zen

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

*Makes about 3 Cups

(Click on each ingredient for brand)

1 1/2 Cups of Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil

1/2 Cup of Organic African Shea Butter

2 Tablespoons of Organic Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil

12 Drops of Frankincense Essential Oil

6 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil

4 Drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

6 Drops of Lemon Essential Oil

Measure the coconut oil into a stand mixer and whip the the whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Add the shea butter and continue whipping until full incorporated and airy. Slowly drizzle the olive into the mixture while the mixer is running. Continue to whip until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to low and add the essential oils. Whip until fully incorporated.

Spoon cream carefully into containers of choice. Tap container after each spoonful to compact and level the cream. Keep away from heat and extreme cold.

Apply a small amount to freshly cleansed face and neck at bed time

(Scroll down for more of my body product recipes!)

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Here are links to more of my Healthy Homemade Body Products! 

Homemade Body Butter

Lip Balm, Sleep Salve, Night Cream, Shower Bomb, Body Lotion, & Hand and Elbow Scrub

Essential Oil Body Cream

Toner & Face Cream

Trust Me, You NEED an Instant Pot!

12 Comments

InstantPot-IP-DUO

You may be thinking, “What IS an Instant Pot, April?” You may also be wondering if I’m getting paid to promote their product. Nope, not a cent. I just love it that much and want to make sure you hear about it. I had never even heard of it until Predominantly Paleo posted it on her Facebook page several months ago!

An Instant Pot is a programmable pressure cooker. And It. Is. Awesome.

Absolutely simple to program. You can use the preset programs or use it manually.

Absolutely simple to program. You can use the preset programs or use it manually.

It cooks meals that normally take all day in a very short period of time. It infuses flavor, it tenderizes, you can saute in it, you can cook rice in it, you can steam things, you can make soup, stew, ribs, sauces, you can also use it as a slow cooker, and you can even use it to make yogurt! It’s only as limited as your imagination. And if you’re not the imaginative type, there’s Instant Pot Cookbooks and bloggers who will do the imagining part for you.

One of the best things about the Instant Pot is that it’s not terrifying and unpredictable like the old-fashioned pressure cookers.

A removable stainless steel inner pot that is a cinch to clean.

A removable stainless steel inner pot that is a cinch to clean.

The 6 quart retails for about $235.00 but the good news is that it goes on sale on Amazon during special events. I purchased mine for about $99 last summer during Prime Days. They were also just recently on sale again on Amazon for Black Friday and I believe my sister-in-law was able to get one for around $83.00. A steal! And knowing what I know now after using it for a few dishes, I would have gladly paid the $235.00.

One tiny flick of the finger and it's simple to release the steam valve.

One tiny flick of the finger and it’s simple to release the steam valve.

It cooks a whole chicken in 25 minutes folks. Twenty five minutes. I did one a couple of weeks ago and it made such moist and tender sandwich meat. I also used the meat in a pasta dish, and a salad meal.  I made French Dips last night, in fact I made them last week too. I didn’t have to worry about getting the roast browned in a separate pan and then transferring it to a crockpot by at least noon so it would have time to cook and tenderize by dinner and not taste like shoe leather either.

You saute the meat right in the Instant Pot!

We ran errands most of the afternoon. We got home at 4:45, I browned the 2.5 lb roast right inside the Instant Pot. When was the last time you were able to do that in a crock pot?

Never.

When browning I place the Instant Pot on top of my stove under the fan. When it's browned on all sides, I move the pot back to the counter and add the remaining ingredients.

When browning I place the Instant Pot on top of my stove under the fan. When it’s browned on all sides, I move the pot back to the counter and add the remaining ingredients.

Then I added 32 ounces of beef broth, half an onion, some herbs and sea salt, and set the timer for 45 minutes.

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I buttered and seasoned a few gluten free buns to be broiled at the last minute.

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Then I went up stairs and took a 35 minute bath. Seriously. That easy.

Right when I was coming downstairs, the timer went off, but I don’t have to worry because it kicks into warm mode immediately and continues tenderizing. So I popped the buns under the broiler, and with one flick let the steam safely out of the Instant Pot. If you don’t want your house to smell like dinner (I don’t know why you wouldn’t…but anyhoo), you can simply carry the pot outside to your back porch and release the steam there.

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Once it stopped steaming, I removed the lid to see this tender and flavorful beauty.

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We sliced it up, built our sandwiches, dished out the au jus, and that was that. SO. Incredibly. Easy. And tender and juicy! All things it would not have been had I cooked it in a crock pot for 45 minutes.

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I’ve also made bone broth twice. The first time I did 3 roasted chicken carcasses. 2 hours flat. A far cry from 48 hours in a crock pot and it didn’t permeate our house with the smell of cooked flesh. The Instant Pot makes the most gelatinous bone broth I’ve ever been able to achieve. I’ve been making it semi regularly for almost 4 years, so that’s saying something.

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For those of you who are new to bone broth, the gelling happens when it’s been cooled. When you heat it and drink it or use it in recipes, it tastes like broth and has the consistency of broth. The reason we get excited about the gelling aspect, is because the more it gels, the more we can see that the cooking process was successful at leaching out all of the collagen and good stuff. Bone broth is excellent for gut health, joint pain, and inflammation.

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I made bone broth out of our turkey carcass day before yesterday. This time I cooked it for 2 hours, let it cool for about 20 minutes with the lid off, then set it for another hour just to make sure all the healthy goodness was utilized.

It’s incredibly easy. I pack in all of the bones and carcass, skin, and any leftover meat that isn’t going to be eaten. Then, fill it up to the Max Line with filtered water. Add 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and sometimes I add herbs and sometimes I don’t. Then I Manually set the cook time for 120 minutes, lock on the lid (it has a chime that lets you know it’s locked) and that’s it.

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The chicken bone broth yielded 8 – 12 ounce mason jars of bone broth and the turkey yielded about 10 – 12 ounce jars. So just as many if not more than a regular crock pot, but so much more flavorful and gelatinous.

Below are some links you can click for more Instant Pot information and recipes.

InstantPot.com

Benefits Of The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Cooking Times

Predominantly Paleo Instant Pot Recipes

NomNom Paleo Instant Pot Recipes

InstantPot.com Recipes

AIP Instant Pot Recipe Round Up

Instant Pot Recipes On Pinterest

Instant Pot Cookbook

That should be enough to get us all started on some really tasty Instant Pot adventures. Good luck and  have fun!

InstantPot-IP-DUO

 

 

Pie, Glorious Pie & A Few Other Holiday Must Haves

2 Comments

2015-11-25 14.39.01

We had other foods on Thanksgiving of course that are my favorites, but I’ll start with the pies. There aren’t many people on the planet who dislike pie. I can’t even fathom such a crazy thing.

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I absolutely love that we can have food allergies and sensitivities and we can still enjoy all types of fabulous meals and desserts. In fact, that’s why I originally started this blog. To prove to people that you can dramatically change the ingredients in your diet and still love the food you eat while you gain back your health.

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I don’t know about you, but I was not willing to say goodbye to pie so I figured out numerous ways around it. First, the crust is to me, the absolute most important part. Good filling with a bad crust is a bad pie and we don’t want that.

My crust must be buttery, flaky, without weird texture or sour taste, and must be able to be used for both sweet and savory dishes. I’ve tried many recipe variations and this one meets all of my requirements and gets rave reviews every single time I use it. The Mama’s Flour Mix is the key. The recipe makes 4 crusts and can easily be frozen for future use. You can find my recipe for Pie Crust From Heaven HERE.

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So let’s move on to the actual pies. Pumpkin pie…oh how I love pumpkin pie! It’s incredibly easy to make gluten and dairy free.

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Gluten Free & Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

1 – 15 oz Can of Organic Plain Canned Pumpkin

1 – 13.5 Can of Full Fat Organic Coconut Milk

3 Organic Eggs

3/4 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pinch of Sea Salt

1 Pie Crust, rolled out with GF flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pie crust in pie plate and set aside. Measure all other ingredients into a large 6 Cup glass measuring cup or large bowl that is easy to pour from. Whisk well until all ingredients are fully combined, making sure the solidified parts of the coconut milk are fully combined and smooth. Place a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and then place the pie plate on the sheet. Carefully pour the batter into the crust.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees (leave the pie in the oven!), and bake for 35-40 minutes until set. I like mine to have just the slightest jiggle in the middle when I take it out. It will set more when it’s out of the oven. If you overcook it, it will crack.

I also made an apple pie with a pie crust bottom and a streusel top. The best of both worlds in one pie if you ask me! Also extremely easy to do gluten free and dairy free.

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Apple Crumble Pie

For the topping:

1 Cup of Gluten Free Rolled Oats

1/2 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar

1/2 Tablespoon of Unsulphured Black Strap Molasses

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Cup of Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour

6 Tablespoons of Cold Dairy Free Butter 

For the pie:

1 Pie Crust rolled out with GF flour

5 Fuji Apples, washed & dried, peels on

1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/3 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar

1/2 Cup of Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour

About 6-8 teaspoons or so of Dairy Free Butter to dot apples 

Prepare the pie crust in the pie pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For the topping: measure the sugar and molasses into a bowl and stir with fork until sugar and molasses are combined. Measure in the rolled oats, sea salt, cinnamon, and flour and stir to combine. Add the 6 Tablespoons of cold butter and lightly and quickly (as to not melt the butter) combine with fingers until it forms a “crumble”. Set aside.

The sugar and molasses should still be relatively dry after being combined.

The sugar and molasses should still be relatively dry after being combined.

Core the apples and slice thinly into a large bowl. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and butter and stir well to coat all the apples. Pour the apples into the pie crust and arrange so there are no holes or gaps.

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Dot the top with the 6-8 teaspoons of cold dairy free butter. Top evenly with the crumble topping.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 60 minutes, I covered mine with foil at 40-45 minutes to keep the crumble from over browning. Test with a fork to make sure apples are done, they should have just a very light bit of texture.

Another absolutely fabulous thing you don’t need to go without when dealing with food allergies is whipped cream. This time when I went to grab my jar of homemade GF vanilla extract, I realized it was just full of beans and no extract. I used the insides of several beans and went without extract and it resulted in the best and most flavorful coconut milk whipped cream I’ve ever made.

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Vodka Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Whipped Cream

*Place Cans of Coconut Milk In Fridge Overnight, or if you’re in a hurry, a minimum of 4 hours

3 Cans of Chilled Full Fat Organic Coconut Milk

About 1/2 – 3/4 Cup of Organic Coconut Powdered Sugar, whiz up in a blender or Nutribullet to resemble powdered sugar

8-10 Vodka Soaked Vanilla Beans, scraped about 3 teaspoons (or, 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract if you don’t have the beans)

If you’re using vanilla beans, slice down the middle and scrape into a small bowl.

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Whiz up the coconut sugar until it resembles a powdered sugar texture.

This is prior to blending.

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Carefully scoop out the solid half of coconut milk out of each can and place it in the bowl of an electric mixer. Reserve 3 Tablespoons of the liquid coconut milk for the whipped cream and refrigerate the remaining milk for smoothies at another time (If you’re using vanilla extract, you may not need to add any additional coconut milk). Using a whisk attachment, beat the coconut cream until medium peak. Add the powdered coconut sugar in two parts, beating in between. Add the vanilla bean seeds and beat until thick and the consistency you like in your whipped cream. If it’s too thick, add coconut milk about 1 Tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you desire. Don’t add it too quickly, as it will thin out very fast and there’s no turning back.

Next to pie, I would have to rank stuffing as my next favorite part of any holiday meal. By itself or along with giblet gravy and mashed potatoes…I could just swoon every time I eat it. Pure comfort food at its best. You can go HERE for my Million Dollar Stuffing recipe.

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Lastly, there’s the turkey. We had a bit of snafu with ours this year, you can read about it here. The farm we purchased it from responded to my note right away and we are being given the option of a gift certificate or a refund. An organic 14lb turkey costs right at about $100 with shipping, so I’m thankful for their courteous customer service and as this was the first turkey from them that we’ve ever had issue with, I will definitely try them again.

The turkey was a bummer but I did make a fabulous rub for the skin. Very flavorful and aromatic. To me, one of the best parts of any roasted bird is the crispy, salty skin!

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Turkey Herb Rub

Nurtribullet or Good Blender

About 1/8 to 1/4 Cup of Sea Salt (you will likely have some left over for other meals)

3 Fresh Sage Leaves

1 Large Sprig of Fresh Rosemary, stem removed

About 1 Heaping Tablespoon of Fresh Thyme Leaves

Place all ingredients in a blender or Nutribullet and blend until herbs and salt are completely combined.

Once I stuffed the turkey, I covered it in chilled dairy free butter and then rubbed a very generous amount of the Herb Rub all over the turkey. Delicious! 

Store any unused Turkey Herb Rub in an air tight container. But, allow it to dry out for a day first as the fresh herbs add a bit of moisture.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and remember, with a little research and willingness, we don’t have to suffer or feel like we’re going without just because of food allergies.

2015-11-26 11.45.49

Let’s Do Some Catching Up!

7 Comments

2015-11-25 14.39.01

Well here we are already onto the last day of November. I had intended on doing at least a couple posts of fabulous Thanksgiving foods for you, but somehow November slipped right by at lightening speed.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Probably the best part for me selfishly, was that I didn’t have to host it.

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My job was to bring the pies and I provided the stuffing and turkey which was roasted at my mom’s house.

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The turkey was a disappointment this year, unfortunately. We have purchased it from the same organic farm for many years without issue so we were shocked that this one did not live up to the expectation. The breasts were very thin, there was little meat on the legs and thighs, and despite it looking like a meaty bird in this picture, it was not. There was also a large layer of fat (ugh) all across the bottom of the bird. Very weird. And quite disappointing considering the cost of an organic 14 pound turkey. I’ve sent them a note with my concerns, so we’ll see how they respond.

The best part of the turkey was the skin. I whizzed up sea salt, fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage in the Nutribullet for a delicious and aromatic rub.

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I made a pumpkin pie and a streusel topped apple pie. They got rave reviews and I made the best coconut milk whipped cream I think I’ve ever made.

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I believe the secret was using the seeds of several vodka soaked vanilla beans and no vanilla extract. It was delicious!

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Prior to Thanksgiving we had a terrible windstorm with almost hurricane level 80 mph winds! It left well over 100,000 people without power for several days, including us.

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We were very lucky though as we didn’t have a tree fall on our house or crush our cars like many people. We also had generators to charge phones, have a little light, and run the refrigerator so we didn’t lose food. Our gas fireplace heated the house very well.

When I was a child I loved eating by candlelight so doing it during a power outage was not a problem.

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We have a gas stove so that made cooking relatively easy with a lamp from the living room for extra light.

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We lost our power for 3 days but many went without for more than 8 days! Crews from all over the country came to our city to help, neighbors came together, and overall even though there was a lot of damage to many neighborhoods, it all went very well.  As soon as the power came back on I hit the kitchen.

Of course!

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I felt like I was in cooking withdrawal for some reason. Those are thin slices of ginger mixed in with the garlic, onions, and mushrooms. Roasted ginger is absolutely delicious!

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Abigail thought it was a special treat for her.

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I made a huge salad, roasted veggies, made a big pot of chicken soup, and home made bread.

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Thanksgiving prep was so easy that two days prior to Thanksgiving when I would normally be up to my earlobes in kitchen and cleaning duties if I had been hosting, I was able to decorate the inside of the house for Christmas.

Then, the day after Thanksgiving, I actually had energy and we were able to enjoy our family tradition of cutting our own tree.

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The Christmas holiday is my absolute favorite time of year and I have lots and lots of decorations. I like to savor the holiday so decorating “early” isn’t a problem for me. You can even hear Christmas music prior to Thanksgiving if you come for a visit.

No Scrooges allowed.

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The ladies at the tree farm make gorgeous swags and wreaths. This one will be perfect for our front door.

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We have two trees again this year. You may remember that we had a little “issue” with the live tree last year... This year, I set my sites on a smaller, more manageable tree. Hopefully it will behave itself and the Russians won’t have to come help me clean up shattered ornaments again.

It even fit nicely in the back of the truck.

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Yesterday was spent decorating both trees. It always seems like such a grand idea to have two trees until it comes time to decorate them, and then of course, take them down. But the in between part is what makes it so special.

This is Tree #1 which is in the sitting room off the kitchen.

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I particularly love early, dark mornings, when I walk downstairs and the house is lit with trees. So gorgeous and peaceful!

This is Tree #2 in the family room.

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I hope all of you are doing well and are enjoying the holiday season!

Thank you so much for the kind words, blog support, and prayers for my health that you all so freely give here on the blog, on Facebook, via personal message, and on Instagram. I appreciate all of you so much. I’m praying December will be a good health month and peaceful for all of us, and that I will be able to bring you lots of fabulous recipe ideas for your holidays.

I will share my Thanksgiving recipes with you tomorrow!

Blessings to you ~ April

2015-11-27 04.17.02

Garlic Kalamata Grilled Chicken Sandwich & Easy Cucumber Salad

6 Comments

2015-10-13 12.41.36

My grain free, dairy free, Garlic & Kalamata Olive Bread was a big hit.

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Also, surprisingly versatile.

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We had it with the chicken dish I posted last week.  We had it with salad, I had some for breakfast one day with some cold chicken, and then I used the last of it to make us these grilled chicken sandwiches.

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They were SO good! All of the flavors together really made for a fabulous sandwich. Tony had sharp cheddar and Brazilian Breakfast sheep’s milk cheese on his. I had Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds on mine along with the Brazilian Breakfast. We dipped them in spicy mustard and I have to say, it was the best sandwich I’ve had in a long time.

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The bread was sliced generously, so I ended up grilling on both sides twice to get the cheese to melt. Once with the lid on for both sides, and then again with the lid off on both sides to crisp the bread.

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The combination of cheeses with the slices of garlic and olives in the bread, along with the chicken was so flavorful.

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I also made a simple cucumber salad to go alongside our sandwiches. A crisp and clean salad works very well alongside a heavy sandwich.

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A little chopped spinach, sliced cucumbers, sliced cherry tomatoes, red onion, white balsamic, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil, and a couple grinds of pepper. Easy!

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It’s a real treat to have a grilled sandwich loaded with melting cheese when you’re gluten free or grain free, and dairy free.

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I’ve found that I can indulge in sheep or goat’s milk cheese a couple of times a month with no issues at all. The Daiya cheese is a nice treat as well. It melts like “real” cheese, although takes a bit longer, and has a pleasant flavor. However, it’s rather unpleasant in its raw form. Combined with the sheep’s cheese, it was excellent!

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If you’d like to make the Garlic & Kalamata Olive Bread, you can go here for my recipe.

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Simple Stuffed Chicken Breasts

6 Comments

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The last few months I’ve been in a rut. A dinner rut that is.

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Do you ever get stuck just rotating the same old recipes over and over again? You’d think a food blogger would be immune to such things because we always have food ideas dancing in our heads. But, we get tired and bored and uninspired just like everyone else it seems.

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Last week I finally decided enough is enough and I sat down for several hours and created 60 dinner meal plans to choose from. I have hundreds of recipes on my own blog along with piles and piles of cookbooks. I’m also slightly addicted to tearing recipes out of magazines that I can tweak in one way or another.

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Having food allergies means tweaking is a must usually, and if I’m feeling energetic, it’s fun to come up with fresh ideas to put on table. Now we have some old favorites mixed with new dishes to try over the next few weeks and I’m no longer in a boring rut.

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The photos don’t really do the dish justice, unfortunately. It comes out of the oven so gorgeous! It’s the time of year when our daylight is diminishing at an alarming rate which makes for terrible food photography. I prefer to rely on natural light, but this house is so dark, I may have to invest in some photography lighting or get creative with a light box.

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Before you decide to add this dish to your menu, I’m going to be honest with you and tell you I did not like the addition of bacon.

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I was feeling a little queasy before dinner and the first bite with the bacon was not appealing to me. Once I removed it from the middle of my chicken breast, I thoroughly enjoyed the recipe.

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My husband thought the bacon added a nice flavor. So I’ll leave it up to you. I served it with my grain free Garlic & Kalamata Olive Bread which was a very tasty combination!

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Grain Free Dairy Free ~ Simple Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced open like a book

About 2 Tablespoons Crumbled Sheep’s Milk Feta

About 1/4 Cup Grated Sheep’s Milk Parmesan + more to top breasts at end of cooking

About 2 Tablespoons of Diaya Cheddar Style Shreds

1 Cup of Fresh Baby Spinach, chopped

A Few Very Thin Slices of Red Onion

2 Slices of Cooked Bacon, chopped (see post above…I didn’t like the bacon)

1/2 Jar of Your Favorite Store Bought Marinara Sauce

Olive Oil

Drizzle a little olive oil in a small baking dish. Place the breasts in the dish and stuff with the cheeses, spinach, onion, and *bacon. Add the marinara sauce, cover with tin foil,  and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, add more grated sheep’s Parmesan on top of the breasts and continue baking until the parm is lightly melted and a beginning to color. About 10 more minutes. Serve with your favorite crusty bread and a salad if you’re not too lazy to make one like I was!

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Grain Free ~ Garlic & Kalamata Olive Bread

9 Comments

2015-10-12 16.12.22

It isn’t surprising to me that there are 90 verses in the bible discussing bread in one way or another. Bread in the bible functions as a social bond. The giving of bread to another person is a major element of hospitality and serves as a sign of respect and concern.

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We’re told to go eat our bread with Joy. And we all know the miracle of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus is even referred to as the “bread of God who gives life to the world”. What’s my point?

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Well, not to make light of 90 verses in the bible of course, but bread is a big deal. It was important then and it’s important now for all kinds of reasons both biblical and otherwise. And it’s especially important to those of us who are gluten and grain free!

In fact, bread was one of the first things I set out to tackle when I started baking with gluten free ingredients. Gluten free was a challenge for sure, but baking grain free bread that resembles bread and tastes like “real” bread, consists of small miracles. It is not easy.

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I think I have finally created a couple of go-to grain free, dairy free bread recipes that are extremely pleasing to me. Now I can enjoy buns, crusty bread, french bread, garlic bread, french toast, toast, and cinnamon rolls just as much as the next guy. That’s important to me and from what I hear from other people, it’s important to them too.

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Bread is comfort. It’s filling, it smells fabulous, it feels amazing, it can be combined with absolutely mouth-watering delicious, ingredients.

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A few baguettes, goat cheeses, roasted garlic, and wine and you have the perfect cozy, social gathering. It’s the staple food of life. No one should ever have to go without bread.

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Many of us remember our mothers or grandmothers houses being filled with the smells of bread baking. Or walking down the street in a city on a cold day being led by our noses to a local bakery.

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Fresh rolls on the Thanksgiving dinner table. Fresh bread with a steaming bowl of soup… Bread smells like home. We need that in this hustle bustle world! Our families need to come home to a house full of comforting smells that they’ll remember for a lifetime. Smells that stir up deep, heartfelt memories long after we’re gone.

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Please don’t give up on being able to experience that. People panic when they’re told they can’t eat gluten and dairy. I hear that it’s too hard, too expensive, too irritating, it’s not fair, they don’t know how, they can’t bake…. don’t cheat yourself because you’re maybe a little bit overwhelmed or uneasy about starting something new.

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I have so many memories of people I love that are attached to food. There’s no way I’m willing to give up those traditions and the fabulous smells and reminders of my life with those people simply because of food allergies.

And you shouldn’t either.

You DO have it in you to bake, and cook, and build fabulous smelling memories. Start small and work your way up one loaf or roll or baguette at a time.

I believe in you!

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Grain Free Dairy Free ~ Garlic & Kalamata Olive Boule

2/3 Cup Arrowroot

1 Cup Sweet Potato Flour

3/4 Cup Coconut Flour

4 teaspoons Xanthan

4 teaspoons Double Acting Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

3 Tablespoons Active Yeast

2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar

1/3 Cup Warm Water

6 Eggs, Separated

3 Tablespoons Grass Fed Gelatin

1/2 Cup Cool Water

3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Cup Kalamata Olives, sliced lengthwise in half

1 WHOLE Head of Garlic, cloves peeled and sliced

2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano

1 Tablespoon Dried Rosemary, crushed

#1.  Place a piece of parchment (enough to go up the sides) into a large bowl and set aside. Slice olives and peel and slice garlic cloves.

#2.  Measure all dry ingredients except  the yeast, sugar, and gelatin into a medium bowl and whisk. Set aside.

#3.  Separate eggs, placing whites in the a mixer bowl. Beat to stiff peak.

#4.  Measure the 1/3 cup warm water and add the yeast and sugar and stir until combined. Set aside.

#5. Measure 1/2 cup cool water (in a glass measuring cup or ramekin) and add the gelatin, stirring quickly to combine. Microwave for 40 seconds. Set aside.

#6.  Measure the apple cider vinegar and olive oil into the egg whites. Add the yeast mixture to the egg whites. Turn mixer on low and very slowly drizzle the gelatin mixture into the egg white mixture.

#7. Keeping the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined (or you’ll have a dust cloud). Then, mix on medium high for 2 minutes.

#8.  Add the sliced olives, sliced garlic, oregano and rosemary, mix on medium to combine thoroughly.

#9. Scoop dough into the bowl with the parchment and lightly shape the dough into a round ball with wet hands. Do not pat down!

#10.  Place the Dutch oven (lid on- remove knob if plastic) on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. While the oven is preheating, place the dough bowl on top of the oven and loosely cover with a kitchen towel.

#11.  When oven is preheated VERY CAREFULLY remove the lid and grab the bread dough by the corners of the paper and set it into the VERY hot Dutch oven. Replace the lid. Bake for 20 minutes.

#12.  After 20 minutes, remove the lid (set somewhere safe!), turn the oven down to 450 degrees and continue baking for 15 more minutes.

Remove bread from Dutch Oven and cool on wire rack . ***Allow the Dutch Oven to cool inside the oven or somewhere safe like inside the sink.

(Notes: I checked my bread halfway into the 2nd  half of the baking and felt it was getting dark quickly so molded a piece of foil over the bread for the last half of baking time. You may have noticed my loaf has a split down the middle. That is because I sliced a cross in the dough prior to baking. I didn’t have you do that in the recipe instructions because I think it causes the loaf to fall a bit. Next time I won’t cross the top. I also did not do an egg wash because I was fearful that because the oven was so  hot, it would burn the top of the bread.)

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