Gee, I love Ghee

The perfect batch!2014-10-05 19.30.16

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Meatloaf Cupcakes – work potluck 04.2014

We had a work party potluck for a lovely lady who was leaving. She only worked with us occasionally and she was as sweet as the treats she ALWAYS brought in. I’m not kidding – every time she worked, she brought us treats. So in honor of her, our potluck theme was to make some main course food that looked like dessert.

Enter: meatloaf cupcakes.

Start with the cupcakes: cook meatloaf in cupcake tins. Some of mine were “bacon-bottom” cupcakes (get it?…as in, “black-bottom” cupcakes)

Cook sweet potatoes - naturally orange! No color added! I pureed them in a food processor with ghee and (not paleo) sour cream)

Naturally orange sweet potatoes! No color added to this frosting! I pureed them in a food processor with ghee and (not paleo) sour cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then piped the "frosting" (pureed sweet potatoes) on the bacon-bottom cupcakes!

And then piped the “frosting” onto the bacon-bottom cupcakes!

Lunch 03.23.14 – Cauliflower Chowder

Cauliflower Chowder

Cauliflower Chowder

I am not usually a soup person but for some reason, I’ve been really craving soups this year (see also this year’s paleo clam chowder post)…or maybe it’s just been a chowder year. A good friend once told me about how she roasted and pureed cauliflower into a soup and how it was so similar to a cream of <x> soup or a chowder. Hearty, savory, yummy. I had…

Cauliflower – Leeks – Celery – Shallots – Beef Broth – Kale – Carrots

…all sitting in my fridge, taking up space, just waiting for a reason to get cooked. Here’s what I came up with.

caulichowder 2I started with my old faithfuls: sauteed the leeks, celery (I used the leafy tops), shallots in coconut oil+lard (yes, real lard); added my beef stock. Let simmer. Meanwhile back at camp: my cauliflower had browned up nicely in the oven – it was tossed in coconut oil+lard+dashes salt+tumeric; baked at 425 until brown. I don’t know how long. I just kept tossing it about every 10 minutes or so until it was browned (probably 30-60 minutes total). Remove from oven. Dump cauliflower, coconut milk and about a cup’s worth of the simmering broth+goodies in a food processor (I processed in two batches). Then I dumped it all back in the simmering pot with the remaining broth+goodies. I also added about a tsp of each turmeric and my cayenne+hot red pepper powder blend; salt to taste. Let simmer to incorporate. Now for more fun (yes, there’s more fun): while the soup was simmering, I roasted up some carrots in coconut oil+lard, tossed with the cayenne+hot red pepper powder blend and cumin, and baked those bad boys. Again – 425 and flipped them a couple times until they were all browned up (maybe +/-30 minutes?). THEN! What to do with the kale? I simmered it in the chowder until it was done to my liking (because I don’t like my kale totally boiled through, I cooked just as much kale as I wanted for that serving. When I go to heat up leftovers, I’ll just add another bunch of raw kale to what I’m heating up). Git yer bowl ready: dished up, drizzle with EVOO and throw on a couple roasted carrots and raw kale for the prettiness factor and VIOLÁ!

Lunch is served.

Pot. Roast. Dinner 02.06.14.

Imagine: a Carne (THE Bellingham butcher shop) beef bone-in shoulder cut; a couple carrots, red onion, garlic cloves, 2 whole sweet potatoes. Add to crock-pot with water, kosher salt and pepper. Simmer 8 hours.

Result:

The wholesome goodness simmering away.

The wholesome goodness simmering away.

The perfect bite (L to R): sweet potato, onion, carrot, beef.

The perfect bite (L to R): sweet potato, onion, carrot, beef.

Dinner 01.25.2014: Soup & Salad from scratch

Seafood soup, salad with homemade blue cheese dressing

Seafood soup, salad with homemade blue cheese dressing

Man, when I get creative, it’s good times. So – I wanted to make more paleo clam chowder tonight and I took my grama’s recipe base and started from there. But then!…mom brought over a bag of seafood medley from TJ’s that had calamari, shrimp, clams, etc. So I added that to my can of clams. I used mushroom broth and the canned clam broth in this one: still delish. I also used a can of separated coconut milk (dumped out the liquid, just spooned out the hardened coconut fat), instead of cream. And then I forgot to add the cauliflower for the “potatoes”, but it turned out perfect without it. Also future note: the chili powder I used this time was chili chipotle which added a little heat, and that was awesome.

And you thought I would stop there? I was REALLY craving a salad (soup and salad, anyone?) with some blue cheese dressing, but since dairy hasn’t been my friend lately, I needed to make my own dressing. Enter: avocado (again). Homemade blue cheese dressing: whipped avocado, coconut milk, olive oil and raw blue cheese (apparently if you have a hard time with dairy, raw dairy doesn’t hurt you as badly. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow). Other than the dressing being green (it isn’t easy being green), it tastes and looks EXACTLY like a really good homemade/restaurant quality blue cheese dressing.

Jury (mom, Chad): “when can we have this again?”

Success and delicious. (The prosecco didn’t suck either.)