The Gray Space

I like black and white.  Right and wrong.  Good and bad.  I like absolutes.  They’re easier to understand and to explain.  I do not like gray space, gray matter, shades of gray, ad finitum.  I’m uncomfortable in the gray space, it’s not familiar – though it should be.  I’m here often enough.

I had breakfast with my BFF Ali yesterday and we talked about the ‘mean girls’, you know the voices in your head that tell you, “you suck” “you can’t do this” “you should have never gotten out of bed this morning”, etc…  and the next level ‘monkey brain’ that is just pure crazy.  Like, “your husband didn’t bring you a present from his trip so he doesn’t love you.”  “your boss didn’t say hello, so he’s going to fire you.”  “That guy looked at you funny so he’s going to murder you.”  Yeah.  That crazy.

And how does all this relates to the gray space?  Well, I’m pretty sure I don’t suck (at least not all the time) and I can do this (whatever this is), just maybe not today.  I can set a goal and reach it.  Just like last month where I started with 25 crunches and ended the month with 200.  And my husband does love me, he just didn’t find anything that really looked like me.  My boss didn’t say hello because he was on the phone and on his way out the door to a funeral.  That guy looked at me funny because I said something silly and he overheard me.

I’m trying to be comfortable in the gray space.  I’m exploring it, trying to make it my home.  It’s not easy.  It makes me want to eat cupcakes, go shopping and do other non-productive or damaging things.  I’ve been known to go overboard on the eating my feelings or retail therapy.  So I ate a Liz Lovely German Chocolate Cake gluten free cookie and cut myself a break.

Maybe I’ll just book a trip to Florida and run away for a little while.  At least it will be sunny while I’m in the gray space there…

Mambo (Mango / Gumbo) Get it?

Mangos are hard to find in Vermont.  Especially Red Mangos.  So when I saw them on display in Hannaford today, I almost cried!!  I grabbed 2.  In hindsight, I should have gotten like 6, seeing as how I ate one whole one as soon as I got home.  My precious…

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Just looking at the picture makes me want to go eat the other one right now.  Good thing I’m going to be out near that Hannaford tomorrow morning.  Oh yeah.  Don’t tell me if there’s something wrong with my mangos.  I don’t wanna know.

I made gumbo for dinner for me and hot dogs again for Little Dude.  Except he did eat the andouille sausage out of my gumbo.  At least he left me the shrimps.  The sausage was extra spicy this batch!  And he gave me a piece of bacon.  Isn’t he sweet?

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After dinner, homework and all that jazz Dude wanted to watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid again.  Although they are funny, once is enough.  So I retreated to my office and watched some The Only Way is Essex.  If you like trashy TV like I do, you will love this one.  It’s the British version of Housewives + Snooki & Jwoww + I don’t know what.  Anyway, then I got a hankering for a milkshake.  Then my mind ran away with me.  I wanted a McDonalds Shamrock Shake.  But that’s gross.  I don’t do Golden Arches anymore.  Googled Paleo Shamrock Shake.  Yes I did.  Found and made this one.

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Dude tried it.  Said not bad.  Then he read the recipe that I left on the counter.  He grabbed his throat and claimed I tried to kill him by letting him eat avocado.  He doesn’t like avocado.  Mom Fail.  Note to self.  Hide the recipe.

Thuggie Muffins

Big Dude took off for a training in RI, so it’s just me, Little Dude and the dogs for a couple days.  Little Dude hates Paleo food.  Dilemma.  What’s to eat?  Luckily I had leftover steak and sweet potato fries.  If you remember my squash post, this is a stretch for me.  But I made a honey mustard dip that was killer.  He had hot dogs.  Uncured chicken dogs, but don’t tell him that.  We hung out in our Thuggies, drank some tea and watched Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days.  Those movies make me laugh.

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These banana bread muffins are amazing.  They might be Paleo, but I think if I eat 3 of them, it doesn’t equal out.  Ya know?  Oh, and I added a cup of walnuts and a cup of dark chocolate chips.  I think they’re like 76% cacao.  They’re delicious.  Baked for 24 minutes.  Especially with my morning latte.  Or afternoon tea.  Or whatever.

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I have a huge problem.  I’m reading / listening to 4 books.  And I can’t decide which one to read tonight when I go to bed.  I’ve got the smutty supernatural novel, the autobiographical curiosity killer, the light and airy chick lit, and the other one…  I can’t remember.  Must have been awhile since I grabbed that one.

Blogger Fail

Apparently I’m a giant slacker on posting this week! Nor have I been super awesome at taking photos of my foods! I have no idea what I ate all week… But here’s what I do remember…

I made this cartoon…

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I was at a meeting this week where someone had just gotten back from Bethlehem, PA where Peeps are made. You, know those nasty little marshmallow chicks and bunnies that are sold by the ton around Easter time?

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Yah, those. Well, they saw this thing where they put 2 peeps in the microwave and fashion them with little swords. Then when the nuker gets going the Peeps grow and grow and eventually one of the Peeps stabs the other one and it deflates or something. Seriously, they paid money to see this. What the deuce??

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But honestly, I almost want to go buy some of the disgusting little devils and try it out! but I can’t bring myself to do it. Yet… If I do, I promise to make a video and post it. But don’t hold your breathe. In the mean time, I’ll continue to make Peep Show jokes…

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Bow Chica Wow Wow…

Thursday night I made bacon burgers (grind up raw bacon in your food processor or meat grinder and add it to the raw burger, sauté up some mushrooms, garlic and spinach and mush that in there too, then grill) and some guacamole. Add bacon and viola!

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Had a hankering for something sweet and came across this recipe for Chocolate Coffee Caramel Bars and had all the ingredients so I gave it a shot. I jacked the caramel a little and added some maple syrup, cut out the water and halved the coconut milk to make it a little gooeyier.

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I love Juli and her blog. Her stuff is amazeballs. If I meet her one day, I might have to kiss her. These bars were like heaven in my mouth. Huge thumbs up. I ate it watching Archer. Have you seen Archer? It’s the deuce. Netflix it. Or whatever. It’s on F/X Thursdays at 10.

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This week there was a dog that looked like my Polly Pocket Puppy. And by the looks of it, acts and smells like her too. HA. Plus, Archer is hot. For a cartoon anyway.
One other thing I made this week, last night actually, was this Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie. I had a couple of bananas that needed using and was going to a friends house for a girls night and wanted to bring something for dessert. Well, really I had nothing to bring for appetizers without going to the grocery store, but whatevs. It took longer than I thought it would to make and make I messed it up somehow, because the custardy top didn’t set up right, so it was a sloppy mess, but I just topped it with my coconut whipped cream and it was fine! Better than fine. It was good!

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That’s about all I remember. I’ll try to do better this week. 😉

Seriously?

Sorry its been a couple days! My bro and his GF were here for the weekend and my parents came too making the sleepover party carry to every room!! The cool part is we had enough beds and bathrooms for everyone!! We ate Paleo all meals. I didn’t take pics because they don’t know I do this… And I didn’t want to give it away, but here’s a rundown for your pleasure…
Gumbo, lots o eggs and bacon, spaghetti squash special sauce, krabby patties, chicken curry noodle bowl, Mexican chocolate pots, creme brûlée (fail), bacon bark, liar bars, & Paleo trail mix… I think that’s it. Everyone left by noon yesterday and I was pooped and didn’t get home till almost 6 so Big Dude brought home sushi. Yeah yah, not Paleo. Didn’t care. Still don’t.
So now we’re up to today… Snow day…
Ok, for reals, I know that about 4:00 my brain shuts off. Sometimes I squeak out some extra time doing mindless tasks, but today I was behind because I spent 2 hours shoveling the driveway and maybe I spent a little too much time on Facebook creating a new Avatar so I could make cartoons about me too. Cause we know my ego needs more attention here. Soooo, maybe I forgot to back up a file I was working on and maybe I lost about an hours worth of research and work. Teach me to work past 5.

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Good thing I made that Avatar. She typed sarcastically…
And because it was a snow day for Little Dude, I didn’t get to the grocery store as planned. So dinner was a throw down. I decided to make that Paleo pizza I wanted to try with the dough of the Paleo Garlic Bread. I tripled the recipe. Had to borrow a 1/2 cup of olive oil from my neighbor! I had some bacon, ground pork and chicken andouille sausage. Put some sauce on and then the cooked up meat and put it in the oven for about 40 minutes…

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It smelled sooo good.
Totally stuck to the pizza stone, but tasted like heaven, heavy garlicky meaty heaven.

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And then my neighbor brought over dessert. Not Paleo. So we will pretend I didn’t eat it and I won’t tell you what it was or how good it tasted. Or how my tummy gurgled after. Yah, no. We can also pretend I’m not watching Snooki & JWoww right now.

Happy Pi Day!!

pie

Ok.  I killed it tonight.  Seriously.  I am amazed with myself even.  I saw on Facebook earlier today that today is Pi Day.  So of course my mind started racing to think of a Paleo Pie to make.  After searching for a while for something amazing, I just wasn’t finding anything that sounded good.  Then I remembered the Paul Newman Pecan Pie recipe that I adapted a few years ago to get rid of corn syrup in Pecan Pie and I thought there must be something that I can do to substitue for the brown sugar as well…  Dates?  He!! yah!

Pecan Pie

I kid you not.  This was as good as any pecan pie I’ve ever made before.  My BFF KK’s daughter had a piece and made all the appropriate noises.

Because I love you and trust you, I am sharing the recipe with you.  You’re welcome.

Paleo-ish Pecan Pie
 
CRUST
1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 T arrowroot powder
1/4 t salt
1/3 cup coconut oil
2-3 T cold water as needed
 
combine all items except water in food processor, gradually add water until balls form.  Press into pie plate.  Bake at 350 for up to 10 minutes until slightly toasty brown.  Set aside to cool and then freeze until filling is ready.
 
FILLING (part 1)

1 cup maple syrup (darker the better)

3/4 cup packed medjool dates (pulse them in a food processor until a ball forms)
1/4 cup Ghee or Grass Fed Butter
 
Blend syrup, dates, and ghee/butter in medium saucepan with a stick blender over medium heat until smooth. Increase heat and boil 1 minute. Cool to lukewarm, about 45 minutes.
 
FILLING (part 2)
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
 
Whisk eggs, vanilla and salt in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk maple syrup mixture into egg mixture. Stir in pecan halves.
 
Pour filling into crust. Bake pie at 350 until filling is slightly puffed around edges and center is set, about 55 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack, or not…  ENJOY!
I was totally going to put bacon in it too, but I forgot.  I will next time.  Promise.

Berry Good Day!

I was crazy busy today, didn’t really have time to think about what’s for dinner until it was dinner time.  I had some chicken, I had some bacon, I had some herbs, and I had some kale.  That was about it.  It’s time to go to shopping…

VOILA!

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Nothing too snazzy, but it worked and it tasted good!  Then I needed something sweet.  I had some strawberries and some coconut whipped cream in my iSi whipping thingy, all I needed were some biscuits.  I looked around for some recipes but most were all almond flour and I really prefer to use coconut flour.  So I adapted…

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They were a little dry, maybe more oil next time.  But here’s the recipe for you.

Toss 1 lb sliced strawberries with 1-2 Tbsp honey, cover and refridgerate.

Mix a can of coconut milk and a Tbsp of vanilla in an whipping canister and refridgerate.  (jst keep one in the fridge at all times!)

For the biscuits combine 1 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp cinnamon with a pinch of nutmeg in a food processor.  Slowly add 3 Tbsp coconut oil until little balls form in the dough.  

In another bowl beat 2 eggs with 3 Tbsp honey and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Slowly add egg mixture to flour mixture.  Once combined, make little patties with your hands and place on a parchment covered baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for +/- 10 minutes until golden brown.  

*my whipped cream didn’t come out looking as lovely as the last batch, but it still tasted good!

Sesame Street Cheat

The day started out great, I mean, I had every thing in my To Do list checked off by noon, great! Even ran the self clean mode on the oven with the windows open because it was 50 degrees in VT today! Had some yummo Gumbo leftovers for lunch, and then things started happening and adding to my list. My 2:00 appointment with a propane company for an inspection was a big fat fail, and then someone I’ve been trying to help out for a month told me to stick it where the sun don’t shine. Really?
I still got all my items checked off by the end of the day and made it to my 5:00 showing early and my 6:30 right on time to see my friend T dance her pretty little buns across the street. If I hadn’t been talking on the phone when I saw her, I totally would have recorded it.
I didn’t get home till after 8 and discovered My Dudes were naughty and didn’t eat leftovers or make something new and delish. They got Chinese food. They got me a small sesame chicken. I ate less than half and decided I’d rather eat the leftover creme brûlée. In the dark.

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Now it’s 11:15, my gut is in turmoil and I’m hungry again. Another cheat fail.

Sweatpants Sunday

I freaking hate the time change.  I think it should be outlawed.  I woke up at 8, but it was really 9 and then I was late.  I hate being late.  My Mom was coming to take Little Dude snowboarding and Dad was gonna hang out with me today.  Everything ended up fine and all on time, but man.  I hate that immediate feeling of doom because you’re late.

I think I ate half of this loaf of Paleo Banana Bread today.  I put in several handfuls of walnuts and some deep dark chocolate chips.  It was AMAZEBALLS!  And maybe I had a couple extra shots of espresso.  It was a good day.

Dad and I hung out, talked and watched some Archer and The Americans.  Both are stellar shows.  When he took a nap I made the Gumbo with 2 lbs of shrimp, andouille sausage and sweet Italian sausage, extra veggies, spinach, and the Cauliflower rice.  I also made a side of Paleo Garlic Bread.  I don’t know what I did wrong, but the consistency was all wrong and it was more like drop biscuits.  No worries, they were still delish.  I think I’m gonna try to make a pizza dough out of it this week sometime.  Maybe fill it like a calzone?

Oh, and since the creme brûlée wasn’t ready last night, I served it up tonight after the Gumbo.  I can’t post a recipe, cause I kinda mixed a couple different ones together, but it was solo good.  Actually, I’ll try to recreate the recipe this week sometime.  My bro and his GF are coming to visit.  If I nail it, I’ll post it.  Anyway, it was awesome.

Bacon Burgers, Blisters and Blonde Highlights

Woke up this morning early.  Earlier than I wanted to on a Saturday.  Big Dude was still sleeping, he didn’t get home from Boston until 2:30 am.  The roads were really slushy.  While we didn’t get ANY snow here, Boston got about 12-22 inches depending on where you were.  Little Dude and I made some bacon and eggs and got ready to go to Petra Cliffs when Big Dude must have been forced awake by the super smell of bacon…

dont go bacon

From my neighbor…

So we all went together and had a blast.  I kicked both their a$$es.  Both Bouldering and on the ropes.  Both Big Dude and I have the blisters to show for all the hard work we did today!

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After we got home my BFF KK came over so I could dye her hair…  she won’t let me post photos and I fed her some leftover crab cakes and then bacon burgers and the last mexican chocolate pot.

We’re supposed to go bowling with our neighbors, but we are both too sore from climbing to pick up a bowling ball!!  I’m gonna try to convince them to stay in.  I’m looking at Paleo Creme Brûlée recipes to entice them…  maybe that paired with air hockey will do the trick…