Monthly Archives: January 2012

Craving Cookies

…and brownies.  For some very strange reason, I have had a craving for baked goods for a couple of days now.  I’m not really a junk food person.  I never really was.  I do like my dark chocolate, but I don’t need it.

I did a little digging around on some paleo and primal websites looking for acceptable ways to take care of these cravings.  I could just eat a regular cookie or brownie and just deal with the wheat issues or hope they don’t appear afterwards, but the effects are pretty unpleasant.  So, I’ve got a few contenders here.  If I actually do end up baking a paleo/primal something, I’d like to be able to use what I have (I have left over almond and coconut flours from my paleo pizza and pancakes) rather than buying a bunch of stuff that I won’t use again for a good long time.  I hate wasting things.

The contenders are:

BakerGal: Delicious Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe – I only have Bob’s Red Mill almond flour, which is specifically warned against, and I don’t have macadamia nut oil.

BakerGal: BakerGal Chewy Paleo Brownie Recipe – I think I can make these right now if I sub honey or maple syrup for the agave syrup.  At the same time, I think I might be leaning more towards cookies than brownies.  I get enough chocolatey goodness from eating chocolate.

Cheesecake Cheat | Purely Primal – this one would require buying of more ingredients, since I don’t have good substitutes, but they are things that wouldn’t leave leftovers.  Plus, I love cheesecake.

Paleo Double Chocolate Chip Cookies – Health-Bent | Health-Bent – I’d have to make my own almond butter before I could make these.  Oh, and I only have duck eggs.

Grain-Free Biscuits Served With Bacon Egg and Cheese | Food Renegade – this is not a cookie or brownie or even dessert, but I want to eat this, too.

Oh, the choices!  If I do breakdown and end up making any one of these, I’ll let you know how it goes.  I’m hoping that if I drink enough tea while watching the snow fall, I can get away with not making any of these.  We shall see.

Advertisements

Early Morning Breakfast

Good morning!

I had every intention of being up early this morning, but not exactly this early.  I probably woke up somewhere around 3 am and actually got up and started my day about 45 minutes later.  Despite the lack of sleep, I actually do like this time of day.  It’s early enough that most of the world is sleeping or at the very least still at home.  The world is pretty quiet outside and everything feels calm.  This is why I also like being up late at night.  Of course this combination of liking late nights and early mornings does not make for very good sleep.  (I did go to sleep early last night, though, so I’m not terribly sleep deprived.)

Since good sleep wasn’t forthcoming, I got up and made breakfast.  Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  I love starting my day by making breakfast.  I also love eggs.  Chicken eggs, duck eggs, turkey eggs…I like them all.  This past week has been a duck egg week.

Yum.  Even more yum is the rest of this breakfast.  Without further ado…I present today’s breakfast.

The mushrooms are what really make today’s breakfast awesome.  These are not your ordinary grocery store mushrooms, but a light brownish-tan colored mushroom known as maitake.  The mushroom goes by a lot of different names depending on who you are and where in the world you are.  Whatever you call it, this mushroom is quite tasty.

So, what did I do to get such a tasty treat?

1. Start off with some sesame oil (for the record, the sesame oil from the Asian supermarket tastes way better than this stuff that I bought from the co-op…oh well) and minced garlic.  My garlic probably looks more chopped than minced since I have neither the patience, nor the knife skills to really do a good mince.  Add a dash of freshly ground black pepper if you like.  (I did.)

2. Heat over medium-low heat stirring as you go until the garlic gets browned and toasty looking.  Toss in your already washed and chopped (I just took the mushroom apart with my fingers after I cut off the base) mushrooms into the pan and turn the heat up a bit.

3. Move the mushrooms around to ensure they are evenly coated with garlic bits and oil.  After a minute or so, add a dash of tamari or soy sauce (I know, I know, not paleo), stir for even flavoring, and cover for a minute or two to get the mushrooms cooked all the way through.

Is your mouth watering yet?

4. Uncover your mushrooms, add in some chopped scallions, give it a final stir, and turn off the heat.

5. Plate and eat!

 

I pretty much think that everything tastes better with an egg, so I sandwiched these guys between a duck egg and some red leaf lettuce.

The only sad part to the story is that I ate all the mushrooms.  I’ll have to pick some more up from the co-op.

Well, I’m off to take advantage of the extra time I got from being up so early this morning.  Stay tuned for more catch up posts and eating fun.


Harvest Bistro and Bar

Welcome back to another edition of catch up posts.  In this post we’ll talk about round two of the kangaroo meat sighting.

Harvest Bistro and Bar located in Closter, NJ is a “modern French bistro,” according to their website.  What I loved about the restaurant was the wide diversity of foods.  On their specials list the night I was there, they offered a sauteed kangaroo and vegetables dish, which made me think that this whole kangaroo thing must be in vogue with the fancy food people.  Alas, having had a kangaroo burger not too long before this dining experience, I opted for the roasted rabbit with vegetables and a potato gratin.  (The specifics escape me, so that’s the best I can come up with.)

The food was all very good.  We also had an appetizer of warm spicy oysters (it was called something more fancy than that).  What I liked was that the food focused on the flavors of the food itself rather than hiding behind spicy, salty, and sweet.  Not feeling parched or needing gallons of water to get through a restaurant meal is a victory to me.  I find most restaurants serving food that is way too salty.

The only downside to the dining experience was the seating.  The tables in the dining area did not give patrons much in the way of privacy.  The tables were rather close together and everyone is at the same level, so if you’re looking for an intimate dining experience, you might want to save that for a different restaurant.

In the end, if you’re in northern New Jersey and you want to have a good meal, focused on high quality cooking and high quality foods, try Harvest out.

PS I tried to take pictures, but the mood lit dining room gave me nothing but dark shadows.  You’ll just have to go over and try the food yourself.


Abbey Burger Bistro

Here we go with the beginning of the catch up posts.  I’m starting with this one since I just posted about exotic meats.

I took a little jaunt to the city of Baltimore, Maryland.  It’s a very interesting city and this time I got to see parts of the city that I hadn’t seen before.  It was a drive through seeing, but that’s fine by me.

The important part here is my dinner at Abbey Burger Bistro.  My insider source calls it the best burger place in town.  According to the website, they were hailed as a “great burger joint” by USA Today back in 2010.  With that kind of billing, you have to go and eat there.

The exciting part about this restaurant and bar is that you get a menu and a slip of paper filled with check boxes.  Now, you can go the standard route and order off the menu or you can scour that slip of paper and start creating your own burger from scratch.  Don’t be surprised when you see things like “alligator” and “kangaroo.”  They have a meat of the month, which happened to be “kangaroo” when I was there.  Of course, I had to try that.  I actually debated whether to have elk or not.  Guess, I’ll be eating elk somewhere else or during another visit.

What else do I like about this place?  They have a crazy selection of beers, which is not paleo in the least, but it’s always fun when a place specializes in something like that.  The thing that I gave them big points for was giving you the option to make your burger wrapped in lettuce instead of having a bun.  Double, triple yay!  I’m always torn between asking them to make my burger bun-less, wrapped in lettuce, or just ordering like a normal person and leaving the bun for the garbage can.  Letting me avoid that agonizing part of restaurant eating made me one very happy girl.

The rest of that checklist had a million options for things to put on your burger – cheeses, egg, avocado, mayo, and a whole lot more.  I got my ‘roo burger wrapped in lettuce, with Guinness cheese, avocado, mushrooms, spicy creme fraiche, and some other things that I don’t remember.  With a side of sweet potato fries, it was a perfectly wonderful paleo friendly dinner.

Now, if I can get them to open another location down the street from me, I’ll be eating there as much as my wallet allows.  While I really think you should go and eat there when visiting the great city of Baltimore, these fantastic burgers will cost you.  I’m just warning you.


Back Into the Swing of Things

I’m back in the cold, snowy north.  First thing I did was go to the co-op last night for some food.  (I always leave my fridge nearly empty if I go away.)  This morning, I went to the farmer’s markets.  Luckily, the brave two souls doing the outdoor market were open as well, so I was able to get some yogurt.  (I can buy the yogurt at the co-op or the local grocery store, but I just never think to.  Plus, there are more flavors and you get the lowdown on new flavors as they are being developed.)

At the wintermarket, I got the usual things like eggs and meat.  This week was duck eggs and rabbit meat.  No goat.  I was actually hoping for some goat.  Oh well.  I’m still working up the nerve to try and cook rabbit and goat that is not ground.

The new items this week from the market are…

1. pinkfruit yogurt – a new flavor from White Cow Dairy that combines pink grapefruit with cranberry, meyer lemon, and maple sugar.

and…

2. feta cheese – a light and crumbly feta that melts like a charm as promised.

I had both for breakfast when I got back from the market.  I made myself a duck egg and some Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon.  Then I wilted the spinach with a dash of olive oil and sprinkled on feta cheese.  I wanted the flavors to come through, so I didn’t add any pepper, salt, or spices.  I think that next time around a squeeze of lemon and some freshly ground black pepper would make the dish extra tasty.

The feta is not your standard grocery store feta.  It still has the tang of feta cheese without being obnoxious, overbearing, or leaving an aftertaste.  I was never a big fan of feta cheese, but this one is intriguing and interesting.  Not to mention tasty.  I just need to learn some more adjectives to describe tastes and textures.

So, I’m back into the swing of things and hopefully getting some more posts up here for you to read.  I have a backlog of posts that are sitting in the drafts pile waiting to be written and posted, so I’ll be playing catch up until I run out and then go with new things.

Stay warm and safe out there.


Exotic Meat

**Warning: This post will talk about eating exotic meats.  If you have a problem with eating something other than the “usual” beef, pork, goat, etc., I would strongly advise against reading this post.**

Happy New Year!  I know, it’s a much belated greeting, and I haven’t been around in weeks and weeks.  I apologize.  I needed some time off and I was feeling rather uninspired.  During my hiatus, I had some fun food adventures, so I’ll begin by telling you about eating exotic meats.  Can you guess what meat I tried??

I’ll give you some hints.  It’s an animal that is only found on one continent.  It’s a rather large animal.  It’s a marsupial.

Any guesses?

I had kangaroo meat!

Now, don’t freak out.  I’m told that there is an overpopulation of kangaroos in Australia, so I’m not concerned that I’m eating something that is on the  verge of extinction.  I know, it still makes you feel a little funny thinking about it, but ever since I started eating Paleo, I’ve been a lot more adventurous in my eating.  I just went for it.

I had what the guy at the restaurant (more on where I went in an upcoming post) called a ‘roo burger.  I’d gone out to eat at the best burger place in Maryland.  There is a list of meats and they have your standard angus beef, vegetarian options, chicken, etc.  Then you also have things like bison, elk, and meat of the month.  When I asked for help choosing the meat for my burger, the guy said, “Well, elk is kind of gamey and personally, I’d go with the ‘roo.”  Say, what?  Yup, he said kangaroo.  He described it as being very mild, so I went for it.  You can’t tell that you’re eating an exotic meat.

Kangaroo as a burger patty pretty much tastes like a really good beef that’s milder on flavor.  I quite liked it.  Meaty, gamey flavors are really not my thing.  I would like to go back and try an elk burger, despite the claim that it has a gamey flavor, but man, that ‘roo burger was tasty.

Now, I thought that kangaroo was pretty out there when it came to meats, but it turns out that when I went out to dinner at a different place a few nights later, they were also serving kangaroo.  This time it was sauteed with some vegetables of some sort.  How about that.  Is kangaroo the new trendy meat to eat and I just never knew it?

More details on all these restaurant wanderings in separate posts.

That’s all for now folks.  It’s good to be back.  Sorry, for the lack of photos in this post.  Hope everyone is off to a good start this year.  Happy 2012!