Ras El Hanout Spice Blend (Whole 30)

I hope you all had as wonderful Christmas as I did. My youngest brother and his family came home for Christmas for the first time in over 15 years. So I got to hang out with these knuckleheads.

They kept this old auntie busy playing WII, tying blankets, doing crafts, doing puzzles and watching Christmas movies. It will always fill my heart right to the top when they sit next to me and cuddle with me.

My mom fed us every two hours. On the hours we didn’t have a meal, mom gave us a snack. Okay, Mayby it wasnt quite that often but it sure felt like it.

As much as I love my mom’s cooking, I am looking forward to getting back into my kitchen and using this bad boy. Thanks Russell, Jenny, Charlie, Auggie, Maggie and Mary. Its the nicest knife I have ever had.

Here is a spice blend that I have been using spice up my random no grain, no egg breakfasts the last week or so. It makes just enough to season 1/2 pound of meat and as many veggies as you can throw in a pan.

Ras El Hanout Spice Blend

1/2 level tsp salt

1/2 heaping tsp cumin

1/2 level tsp ground ginger

1/2 scant tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground corriander

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp ground cloves

Pinch ground nutmeg

Combine all spices in a small bowl and mix well. Makes enough to season 1/2 pound of meat.

Tahini Garlic Salad Dressing (Whole 30)

Working in retail during the Holiday season can be a challenge. Lines are long, tempers are short, and, depending how long a person puts off their shopping, things can be hard to find. It can be very stressful time of year. So in interests of keeping an open and loving heart this Christmas season, I am going to post 5 things I am grateful for right now.

  1. My baby brother and his family are coming home for Christmas for the first time in over 15 years.
  2. Because of the way my days off and Christmas fall I will get to spend actual time with them.
  3. Maggie, Mary, Auggie and Charlie.
  4. My wonderful co-workers.
  5. My friends, Audrey and Steph, for taking me out this weekend and helping me find my Christmas spirit.

Tahini Garlic Dressing

From Well Fed Fresh And Hearty Salads magazine

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1/4 cup water

3 TBS Tahini

2 TBS lemon juice

1 TBS coconut aminos

1 TBS minced chives

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/3 cup light tasting olive oil

Smash the garlic and place it in a small bowl. Add the reaming ingredients except the olive oil. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add the oil and blend until combined.

Meatballs With Tikka Masala Sauce (Whole 30)

A few weeks ago I made a batch of meatballs I was really excited about because they had all the flavors of my favorite pork chop recipe. The problem .was the meatballs, unlike the pork chops, came out very bland. I was so disappointed. What was I going to do with 40 bland meatballs?

The idea came to me, if the meatballs are bland, why not sauce them up? So I dug through my big, white binder of recipes and scoured the internet for sauce recipes and came up with several sauces to spice up my meatballs.

The first sauce I tried for my meatballs was an Indian inspired Tikka Masala sauce. It is so good and so easy.

Tikka Masala Meatballs

Meatball recipe from Me sauce adapted from The Defined Dish

1/2 lb ground beef

2 TBS almond flour

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp tomato paste

1/8 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp ground turmeric

1/8 tsp ground ginger

dash cayenne, to taste

1 1/2 tsp curry powder

2/3 cup coconut milk

juice 1/4 lemon

In a small bowl, combine ground beef, almond flour and salt and pepper. Divide into eight equal portions and roll into balls. Heat a saute pan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, when hot add the meatballs to the skillet and brown on all sides. Only attempt to turn the meatballs when the naturally release from the pan. Trying to force them to turn will only break the meatballs apart. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut milk, tomato paste, cumin, tumeric, ginger, cayenne, and curry powder; stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil. Add the meatballs back to the sauce and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, 5-10 minutes more.

Crockpot Mulligatawny Soup (Whole 30)

During a time of year when people are buying pressure cookers galore, I went out and bought a Crockpot. Those of you who have followed me for a while have probably heard me say I am not a fan of slow cooked food. So why did I buy a Crockpot? I bought it because you guys keep asking me about Crockpot recipes for two so I am going to see what I can do.

I decided to make a soup for my first recipe because I can’t mess it up too badly no matter how I cook it. I put the broth and chicken thighs partially frozen and cooked it 4 1/2 hours.

Mulligatawny Soup

Adapted from I Don’t Remember Where

1 chicken thigh

1/2 cup apple, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1 1/2 tsp dried onion flakes

1 TBS raisins

1 tsp curry powder

2 cups chicken broth

In a 2 quart crockpot, put the chicken on the bottom. Add the apples, carrots, tomatoes, onion flakes and raisins. Add spices and broth. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours. Shred chicken with two forks before ladling into two bowls.

Crofton’s Mini Cast Iron Bakeware

If you are still trying to find a Christmas gift for the small batch cook or baker in your life check out Crofton’s mini cast iron bake ware. It’s at Aldi’s grocery store for a limited time.

There are 4 pieces available, a 6″ skillet, a 6″ griddle, an 8 oz mini casserole and an 11 oz loaf pan. Each piece is reasonably priced at $3.99 and they are pre seasoned.

If you are interested in what you can do with this mini cast iron bake ware, check out this post for skillet ginger bread cookies at Dessert For Two.

I am not being compensated for this post in any way. I am just excited to share some new stuff I have in my kitchen and am looking forward to using.