Chocolate Mint Fudge

This fudge is similar in concept to my Blender Fudge, but I didn’t make it in a blender and it had two parts. I honestly think this one came out better.

one stick salted sweet cream butter
1/4 cup unfiltered honey
unsweetened, unprocessed cocoa to taste
2-3 tablespoons virgin expeller pressed coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
few drops mint extract

1. Place butter in a large glass mixing bowl. Cut into several slices. Add 1/4 cup honey.
2. Let sit until butter is softened to room temperature.
3. Mix by hand with a fork until the honey creams the butter.
4. Add cocoa powder. Mix by hand with fork again, until completely mixed. This will take a few minutes. Set aside.
5. In a smaller bowl, add the coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey, and the mint extract. Mix, then pour into fudge mixture.
6. Mix well, until all fudge looks the same – no shiny, wet looking parts remain.
7. Line a loaf pain with plastic wrap, leaving enough extra to fold over the fudge.
8. Dump the fudge into the pan. Fold the plastic over the fudge loosely and gently press down until you reach the desired shape and thickness.
9. Gently secure plastic wrap and pop the loaf pan into the freezer for about 20 minutes. Remove from freezer, and take the plastic wrapped fudge and store in the fridge.

This fudge is far less runny than the blender fudge, which I like. It was more ‘whipped’ in the bowl, and definitely has a nice texture to it when hardened. Enjoy!


Cereal!… Kind Of…

Alex and I can’t eat regular cereal. And honestly, who would want to? It was a staple of my youth, but I feel sick every time I think about it now. I can’t even walk down the cereal aisle in the store. God, that aisle stinks. As does the bread aisle. And the baking aisle. And really, just about every aisle. Our shopping is pretty much limited to the perimeter of the store. You know, where all the fresh options are. Anyhow, cereal. I missed cereal. Very, very badly. So much that I would convince Alex to get the gluten free non-GMO cereals, and they would still make me sick. Just because it’s gluten free or non-GMO doesn’t mean it’s healthy or good for you! Flaky cereals have pretty much no real nutritional value. Mine, however, mine does.

The only issue with this cereal is if you’re a migraine sufferer like me. If you are, be careful how much of this you eat! I ate it every day, sometimes twice a day, for about a week and a half, and got a terrible migraine that lasted about five days. Alex is the one who figured out it was the cereal. I hopped onto the internet and sure enough, nuts are on the common triggers list. So just be careful! I really don’t want to be the cause, however indirectly, of someone’s pain.

whole natural almonds
shelled walnuts
unfiltered honey
virgin expeller pressed coconut oil
cinnamon and nutmeg OR pumpkin pie spice OR apple pie spice

1.Preheat the oven to 300. In a large glass mixing bowl (or whatever material, I’m just really partial to glass) place several tablespoons of coconut oil. Use your judgment here. If you want more clustery cereal, use a bit more oil. Less clusters means less oil. I have got to get a camera so I can start posting method pictures.
2. Add the honey on top of the coconut oil. Add however much you think you’ll need for sweetness. If it’s any help, my cereal usually comes out tasting like a much better version of Honey Bunches of Oats.
3. Add your choice of spices. If adding cinnamon and nutmeg, I’d do less nutmeg than cinnamon, as nutmeg has a strong flavor.
4. In a food processor, add the desired amount of almonds. Process until they are chopped very fine. Dump into the bowl. Do the same for the walnuts.
5. Mix the contents of the bowl together. Be patient. It’ll take a few minutes for all the nuts to be covered. At this time, judge by either smell or flavor and decide if you need more spices or honey. Sometimes I add another teaspoon or two of oil, depending on my mood.
6. Spread the nuts in a thin layer on foiled baking sheets. Bake for seven minutes.
7. Remove from the oven, mix together and make a thin layer again. Return to the oven for an additional seven minutes.
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in a glass jar in the fridge.

To serve, have a regular bowl of cereal with some milk, mix it into some yogurt, or pour kefir on top. I have it with milk, Alex does kefir and yogurt. You can also add dried fruit to it. I’m on the lookout for a decently healthy and decently priced supply of dried blueberries to add. My favorite cereal was Blueberry Morning, and this would be pretty similar, minus the flakes.

Yay! We can eat cereal again!!!

Peanut Butter Cups – Semi-Paleo-Wannabe deliciousness

So this week I was hit with a random peanut butter cup craving. OK, I lie. Not that random, but random enough. Since going Paleo/Primal I’ve had some issues cutting out certain “foods”. Peanut butter just so happens to be one of them. I mean, I know peanuts are a legume and have cancer causing agents in them and all kinds of scariness that I don’t even want to get into, but I mean… it’s peanut butter. Peanut. Butter. So anyhow, I knew Reese’s were out of the question, and the last time I had those Alex and I both declared them awful, just awful. I searched the trusty Google, and sure enough, ten bajillion hits. I clicked on some, and then ultimately selected this recipe (after reading more of her blog and drooling all over the computer). So here is the recipe, in its unaltered form. Because it is just sheer gloriousness, and I found no need to change it up. Original recipe here.

1 cup virgin expeller pressed coconut oil
1/2 cup raw honey (yeah, I just used unfiltered… )
3/4 cup unsweetened, unprocessed cocoa powder
peanut butter

1. Plop the coconut oil into a glass mixing bowl. If it’s a little hard, go ahead and stir it up some. If it’s all runny and clear, stick it in the fridge a bit.
2. Add the honey and mix it up really well.
3. Add the cocoa, and mix until there are no more pockets of dry cocoa.
4. Put about a teaspoon (I just used a spoon) of the chocolate mix in your mini muffin cups.*
5. Add some peanut butter on top of that.
6. Freeze. Eat. Die and go to chocolatey coconutty peanut buttery heaven.

*If you’re like me, you don’t have mini muffin cups on hand. I can’t eat muffins, and I wouldn’t want the treat-making temptation around all the time. Although that apparently doesn’t stop me when I do want to make treats. I got out my olive oil bottle and pressed foil on the cap. It worked. Gave me a ‘muffin cup’. All in all I had over 60 treats. Alex went to use the freezer and was… not pleased to find a baking sheet covered in little foil-wrapped treats taking up an entire shelf. Too bad?

Store these in the freezer! The coconut oil WILL melt.

And go read that blog. She has some just awesome stuff on there. Finally! A mother who isn’t afraid to give her child chunks of butter to snack on!!! That’s exactly what I would do if I had kids! Anyhow. I should run. Got some treats to eat.

Acceptable treat consumption times:
-whenever you feel like it because they’re healthy aside from the peanut butter

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.

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??)
pumpkin pie spice
orange oil

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

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.

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

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.

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.