Scrambled Eggs

OK, everyone has their own way of making this. But I really like mine. They’re delicious and full of good, healthy fats and protein. Can’t go wrong with this delicious breakfast!

It seems slightly complicated, but it’s really fast. And the great thing about scrambled eggs is you can take them on the go.

Ingredients:
5 or 6 extra large eggs
two tablespoons salted sweet cream butter
two tablespoons heavy cream

Method:
1. Separate the whites from the yolks. Throw the whites away. Place the yolks in a bowl.
2. Put the butter in a skillet to melt on about 4.
3. While the butter is melting, add the heavy cream to the yolks and mix it all together very well.
4. Pour the yolk mix into the skillet.
5. Let it sit for a minute. It should look like you’re making an omelet, and it should more or less be covered by the butter. Once the sides start bubbling, gently shake the pan back and forth. The egg should easily follow the pan’s movements.
6. Start flipping and chopping the egg. You want the pieces slightly small-ish so that as much butter as possible can be soaked up. You don’t want to waste all that good butter.
7. Cook the eggs until the majority of the butter is soaked in. Dump the eggs and butter sauce onto a plate.
8. Consume and try not to die and go to egg heaven.

Blender Fudge – Semi-Paleo-Wannabe

Another semi-paleo-wannabe dessert. Because, let’s be honest. Even if a dessert completely follows the strict paleo/primal guidelines, it’s still semi-paleo-wannabe goodness. Cavemen didn’t eat desserts. At least, not that we know of.

Ingredients:
natural unsweetened unprocessed cocoa
one stick melted butter
sugar (or honey, for a paleo option)
1 teaspoon virgin expeller pressed coconut oil
dash salt

Additional, Optional Ingredients:
peanut butter (NOT paleo, but who doesn’t LOVE peanut butter fudge??)
cinnamon
nutmeg
pumpkin pie spice
mint
orange oil

Additionally, you can replace 1/2 stick of butter with coconut oil.

Method:
1. Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend.
2. Place saran wrap in a loaf pan, being sure to have plenty of extra.
3. Pour fudge mix into the pan.
4. Lightly fold the saran wrap over top of the mix and gently press down until the mix is however thick you want your final product to be. Obviously thicker fudge makes less pieces. I always go for about 1/2 inch thick.
5. Finish wrapping the mix, and put it, pan and all, into the freezer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the freezer and either eat the fudge, or put it in the fridge. Without the pan.

I actually managed to ruin a loaf pan by leaving it in the fridge for a few days. No idea what happened. Probably because I buy the cheapest pans I can find at Walmart, which is an assorted five pan set for five dollars. Yeah, I’m cheap. Whatever.

Chocolate Semi-Paleo-Wannabe Cookies

I am just terrible. I’ve been away for quite some time. I already mentioned that I’m really, really bad about keeping up with things like this, though.

We have floors in our house now, so I got new toys. I got a new vacuum and a steam mop. It’s a cheapie vacuum, but I love it. My only issue is that the hose is a tad short for my tastes. But if I really need a long hose I guess I can unearth the shop vac (joy). I lovelovelove my steam mop. I got the Shark. Mainly because it’s by Europro, the same company that makes my beloved Ninja blender and food processor. Buuut Alex says we’re taking the steam mop back, and he’ll get me a real steamer, because apparently the mop isn’t good enough. I use it for deep cleaning, it’s not really made for that. So, bummer.

It’s just so nice to be able to walk around on a nice clean floor, and not have to worry about splinters or getting staples/nails in your foot.

Also, I made cookies yesterday. I call them chocolate semi-paleo-wannabe cookies because they are just that. I adapted a gluten free recipe from hersheyskitchens. I am so bad. But it’s our anniversary, dammit, and we’re working a lot, and I got all hormonal and felt emotionally insecure, so hush it I wanted my cookies.

Ingredients:
3-4 tablespoons unsweetened unprocessed cocoa powder
2 – 2.5/3 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well
1/4-1/3 cup 100% natural pure cane sugar (this is where the semi-paleo comes in)
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon virgin expeller pressed coconut oil

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Dump the cocoa into a bowl.
3. I had shelled walnuts that weren’t chopped, so I threw them into my processor and then dumped them in on top of the cocoa.
4. Add the coconut milk. I know my measurement doesn’t make sense. You know I’m not good with measurements.
5. Add the sugar. Mix everything together, add the coconut oil, then mix again.
6. Drop spoonfuls onto a foil lined cookie sheet. I pressed mine down slightly. These cookies don’t change shape, they just set and firm up.
7. Bake 8-10 minutes.

If you don’t like being healthy you can view the original recipe here.

I only left out the vanilla because I’m a freakazoid and allergic to it. Don’t ask me, I don’t make the rules.

Careful, now, though. Don’t make these too often. Walnuts have super high levels of Omega-6.

So eating these for breakfast.

Roasted Brains, or Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I grew up eating Brussels sprouts. My mom was a hippie but also kind of a dork, and she called them martian brains. So they’re just brains to me. Alex hasn’t caught on yet, so every time I write ‘brains’ on the grocery list and walk to produce he has no freakin’ clue what I’m looking for. And he calls ME a dork. Now, most people don’t like Brussels sprouts. Personally, I think they’re flippin’ awesome. But I also like spinach, and I know at least five billion people who don’t. So there we go. I think the main issue is how they’re cooked. There are a million and one ways of doing this, but they aren’t all right. This one, though, this one is good.

I definitely ripped this recipe off from the Primal Blueprint Cookbook by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier. So basically I’m going to give you the link to buy the book and see excerpts from it and check out the website that started all this craziness in my life (well, that and food allergies) right here, and then give you the recipe straight from it, then say what I did differently. Which wasn’t much. At all.

M’kay, nevermind. this is the website that started all the craziness. The other one is just the books and stuff. Which are great. Check them out.

These Brussels sprouts are both Alex and Kitty approved. Seriously. Kitty stole some off my plate. She went nuts for them. So you know they’re good if a cat will eat them. Because cats don’t eat veggies. They can’t even digest them.

Brussels Sprouts with Browned Butter and Hazelnuts

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
3 tablespoons water

Instructions:
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 450.

Place butter on a rimmed baking pan that is large enough for the Brussels sprouts to roast in a single layer or else they will steam instead of roasting if too crowded. Roast until the butter is melted, browned and fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven; toss Brussels sprouts and hazelnuts with the browned butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Return to the oven and roast for 7 minutes. Remove briefly and sprinkle with water; toss, then continue roasting until the sprouts are tender and lightly browned, about 7 to 9 minutes more.

Serve immediately. Goes especially well with roast meat or roast fowl.

When I made these, I used salted sweet cream butter, the same butter I tell you to use in every other recipe. I use unsalted only sometimes. I also took out the hazelnuts, because neither of us are giant hazelnut fans. Hazelnuts remind me of really crappy tasting coffee. Other than that, though, it is the same. So like I said, practically no differenced.

I have served these with my curry and spice whole chicken, a nice red wine braised roast that I’ll get around to posting about at some point, and steaks, which I’ll get around to posting about sometime. I have a whole long post about steaks writing itself in my head. Steaks are so delicate. So easy to ruin. And since we actually don’t buy steak, I just make… steak… well, I’ll tell you how at some point.

These sprouts are good. I wish I’d snapped a picture of Kitty eating them. But Alex shooed her away so she wouldn’t get sick. And she kept coming back, with her little paws, catching one on her claws, nibbling, we shooed her away again, she came back with her pitiful meows and little paws to steal more. You’d think we didn’t buy her special expensive yummy food that’s good for her and give her chicken and salmon and tuna and beef with the way she carried on over these sprouts.

So go eat them. If my cat will, you will. Or should. Whatever.

All About Body Odor: A Girl’s Journey Into Acceptance

I feel like this needs to go on my cleaning page. I feel like this is an important topic. I see everyone blogging about everything from 256,000 different types of DIY deodorant to body wash to laundry soap to cleaning products. So here’s my two cents, for what it’s worth and for how much anyone cares.

Our bodies sweat and stink for a reason. It’s what they were born doing, it’s what they will always do. We are not helping it any by slathering deodorants and lotions and creams and soaps and conditioners and makeup and perfumes and anything else you might slather on your body all over ourselves. We’re making it much, much worse.

My parents always had me using ivory soap. My whole life, it was terrible, awful, drying, disgusting-smelling ivory soap. And I have always smelled really, really bad. Plus, it’s terrible for your lady bits. So when I moved out, I explored the soap aisle. I got scented body washes, scented deodorants, scented and expensive shampoos and conditioners, lotions, body scrubs, ridiculously strong face cleansers, perfumes, etc. And eeewwww, did I SMELL. Even when I got everything the same scent, I just… reeked.

Until I met Alex, though, no one ever noticed because we all stink the same. We all stink. Really, really, badly. Alex is the best smelling person ever, in the whole wide world. “Well, yeah, duh, you’re in love with him, you live together, you’re around him all the time, of course you think he smells good.” Nope. Not even. I remember when I first met him I thought to myself, he smells really, really good. And then I noticed, no, he doesn’t smell good. He just doesn’t smell. Like anything. Ever.

His secret? I found out he doesn’t use soap. Of any sort, unless he’s really dirty. Sometimes his job has him going out to construction sites to make sure things are going well and he gets covered in mud and I make him take a bath. Then he uses a really mild hemp soap to get clean, and only a little, because a little is all you need. We use Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 hemp castile soap.

Alex does not sweat. I mean, he sweats, of course. Everyone does. But you really wouldn’t know it unless he doesn’t shower for a few days. Which, unfortunately, happens to us now and again since our house is a construction site. We didn’t have water for eight days at one point. We were very stinky. A little soap was in order by the time we got to take a shower. I also had a mountain of dishes spilling from the kitchen into the living room. But that’s a different story altogether.

Back to soap and all it’s evil-ness. Soap is very bad for your skin. It kills all the bacteria and clears your body of all its natural oils. Your body produces these oils to protect itself and keep itself clean. And here we come, washing it all off and ruining its best efforts to keep us nice and happy. So what does it do? Our body starts freaking out and overcompensates by producing even more oil than it needs to so that it can get back on track.

And antiperspirants? Not only do they contain aluminum, which is absolutely terrible for your central nervous system, they block your body from sweating. So your body produces extra sweat to break through the antiperspirant barrier. And then you stink like sweaty flowers or sweaty spices or sweaty baby powder or sweaty whatever. Sweat mixed with antiperspirant is NOT a pretty smell. It smells far worse than just not wearing anything and smelling like sweat.

On to shampoo. I am guilty of still using this. But I wash my hair about once a week. I trained myself to do that, I wash scrubbing the hell out of it with SLS-laden nasty stuff every day for my entire life. Then I decided that’s probably not a good idea. I also no longer condition, so there’s a plus. I’m stopping using shampoo. I have tried a few things, and I think I may have hit on the right one. If not, I’m probably going to shave my head to match Alex’s. Washing hair is overrated and annoying anyway. Not nearly as fun as they make it look in the commercials. And it never looks that great, either. So what’s the point?

Look, my point here is, enough with the soap and antiperspirant and shampoo and lotions and creams and makeup. We’re not doing ourselves any favors. We’re ruining our skin and making ourselves stink. Just turn the shower on as hot as you can stand it, get a coarse washcloth or body brush or scrubber of some sort and go to town. I like the washcloths because I scrub my face first then do the rest of me. For shampoo, mix coconut milk (don’t use Thai coconut milk, it contains guar gum which makes your hair icky), castile soap, and some essential oils and use that. And for conditioner, mix apple cider vinegar with some water and use that. It works, we’re all just scared to do it because we’ve been taught that we need to use harsh chemicals on our bodies. Ugh. Anything for money, I’m telling you. ANYTHING for money.

Gentlemen: skip this paragraph
The only way this will be an issue is when we bleed. Now. You may ask why. Well, that’s because you shouldn’t be using tampons, either. They aren’t good for you. There is a reason why that little toxic shock warning is on the box. I have dealt with that and I am here to tell you that toxic shock is very, very painfully and scarily real. I’ve dealt with that a few times, and Alex told me I should probably stop using tampons if they made me so sick then and wanted to know why I was being such a dork about it. So I listened. no, I don’t like pads, yes, they smell weird, yes, they look a little funny under certain clothes, but Alex doesn’t care so why should I? Who am I trying to impress? I already have my very own dorkface. Not trying to catch another one. Yes, using pads smells a little funky. But isn’t a little funk better than jeopardizing your health/life? Just a little tip: use an overnight pad. I know, I know. They’re “overnight” pads. They’re for overnight. Yes, of course they are. But they also provide lots of coverage and protection and absorb a lot more than the daytime ones. Now. I do use a feminine wash. It is soap free, pH balanced, blah blah blah. I’m considering trying not using it. Once I’m done bleeding. I do recommend using a feminine wash when you bleed. Just for sanitary reasons. Making sure it’s really all out of there. Anyway.

Gentlemen: it is now safe
Now, antiperspirant. Is evil. Very evil. Just use a deodorant. I’m about to go scrub the pits out and apply some coconut oil with peppermint essential oil in it. I use that as chap stick once in a blue moon when I remember I have it. You do need to keep coconut oil in the fridge for this, though. That’s why I forget I have it. Apparently this deodorant works really well. I’m going to try it. But for now, I’m going to try the coconut oil and peppermint. Not sure how I feel about walking around smelling like Christmas. Guess we’ll find out.

Aaaannndddd. Finally, makeup. Ladies. Please. Just throw. It. Away. You don’t need it. You know what you need? To scrub your face with hot water and put coconut oil on. Rub it in real good, all over your eyes, face, nose, mouth, neck, arms, hands, feet, knees, elbows, head shoulders knees and toes. It is the only makeup and moisturizer you will ever need. Makeup ruins your skin, no matter how natural it is, no matter if it’s Physician’s Formula, it’s B-A-D. Ever wonder why you’ve got acne? Don’t lie, you do, that’s why you wear so much. Umm, it’s the makeup. And the soaps and ridiculously strong cleansers.

Oh, and perfumes. Sure, they smell pretty. For a little bit. Then they don’t, because they’re nothing but chemicals. I will admit, I am quite partial to CK One and D&G’s Light Blue. Love them. But… I think I like just wearing a drop or two of essential oil on my hot spots even more. Alex prefers I just don’t wear anything, but, I’m a vain little bitch and I do what I want. I also paint my toenails because I think bare toenails look nasty.

I think I’m done here. Completely forgot what I was going on about. And this is why Alex calls me Gnat Girl.

Cincinnati-Style Chili

Alex and I like chili. I currently have about four chili recipes I rotate. I will be posting three. One of them is my family’s secret recipe. It’s never been written down (that I’m aware of) and I have a sneaky sort of feeling that we all make it a little different, add our own personal touch. Because while it’s basically the same, it always tasted just a tad different. But this one, this one I can share.

Ingredients:
ground beef
chopped onions
tomato juice
tomato sauce
light red kidney beans
cheddar cheese

Spice Blend:
chili powder
sugar
cinnamon
garlic powder

Method:
1. Brown the ground beef and the onions together in the same pot you’re making the chili in. Do not drain the fat.
2. Add all the other ingredients aside from the cheese and spice blend. Mix very well.
3. Stir in the spice blend a bit at a time to make sure it is evenly distributed. This is important.
4. Simmer on about 2-3 for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn.
5. Put in bowls, top with cheese and serve.

I will give you one family secret which probably isn’t a secret but it’s something we do so whatever, it’s a family secret and I’m telling you. And my great-great grandmother is going to find and haunt me forever now. About five-ten minutes before you serve the chili, put the heat up to medium, or 5. It’s does something to the flavor. Or maybe we’re all crazy. But don’t tell great-great grandmother whoever that, she won’t like it.

You can also top with raw chopped onions in addition to the cheese. Alex likes to do that.

I generally make a spaghetti squash to go with it. We like having noodley goodness in our chili, but can’t eat noodles, so spaghetti squash it is.

Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, place the halves cut-side down on a foiled cookie sheet, and pop it into a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, depending on how big your squash is. You’ll know it’s done when you can pull out ‘spaghettis’ with a fork.

Vietnamese-Style Beef Soup

Alex and I like beef. Like, a lot. I haven’t made this in a while and I really need to because it’s good, and it’s simple. There’s like, practically no cooking (hooray!!).

Ingredients:
bok choy, or baby bok choy (can use Napa Cabbage)
veggie broth or spiced water
onion
ginger
some form of lean sirloin or other tender, lean meat
3-4 whole cloves
cardamom
minced garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 small chile, sliced thin

For Spiced Water (if you want to use this)
drinking grade water
black pepper
sea salt
cumin
paprika
white pepper
garlic salt
onion powder
ground cloves
cardamom

Method:
1. Pop the meat in the freezer for about ten minutes. This makes it easier to cut.
2. Slice your onion thin. Peel and cut the ginger into thin slices. I generally use about three inches of ginger.
3. Put the onions, cloves, ginger, few good shakes of cardamom (or two very lightly crushed pods, if you have pods), and minced garlic in a large saucepan. Cook on about 5-6 for about five minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the broth or spiced water. I prefer spiced water to the broth. Let it hang out in the pot for a while and warm up with all the other goodies in there.
5. Get your meat out of the freezer, and start slicing it as thinly as possible. Do the slices in little bite-size strips. As you slice, put the meat into the bowls you will be serving the stew in.
6. Slice that chile really thin (I use a jalapeno) and put maybe two slices in each bowl. I put more than that the last time I made this and Alex was dying. And we’re talking about someone who likes jalapenos in all their spicy glory.
7. Chop your bok choy or napa cabbage. I have made this with both, both are fine. Bok Choy is more interesting of a flavor though. Slightly oniony in the stems, and slightly spinachy in the leaves. It’s yum-delicious. Put some in each bowl.
8. Bring the broth to a boil, add the teaspoon of sugar, stir, and boil again.
9. Pour the hot broth into the bowls over the meat, chiles, and bok choy/napa cabbage. Don’t worry about cooking the meat, or it being raw. The boiling hot broth cooks it.

Serve immediately.