“Something magical happens when food is cooking — the rest of the world melts away, and nothing exists except what’s in the skillet in front of you–and it talks, it breathes, and lives. The sounds, aromas, textures, flavors and the heat of the kitchen–even the occasional searing burn– feel good.” David Link
People ask me all the time why I like cooking. I never really had a good answer. Its just something I really enjoy doing. This quote from David Link comes as close to explaining it as I can get.
From The Frugal Paleo Cookbook
1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 cup craisins
1/4 cup almonds, slivered or chopped
1/4 cup finely minced red onion
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, or more almonds slivered or chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup red wine vinegar.
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Salt and pepper
In a large bowl, mix together the broccoli, craisins, sunflower seeds, onions and almonds.
In a seperate small bowl, combine mayonnaise and apple cider vinegar.
Pour the dressing over the broccoli and mix in the bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This week I did something I haven’t done in almost 13 years and something I never thought I would do again. I gave my employer my notice. Friday, March 29th will be my last day with my old employer and Monday, April 1st will be my first day with my new employer.
Although I am beyond ecstatic to be to be leaving my current place of employment, I am really having a hard time leaving the people. I mean, I knew it would be hard. These people have been with me through some of the best and worst times of my life. I just didn’t expect it to be this hard. So many tears and so many hugs and I still have 4 more shifts before I am done. You would think I was moving 6000 miles away instead of 6 blocks away.
I am also very touched by the reactions of some of my regular customers that I told that I was leaving. My goal has always been to make sure everyone who comes through my line leaves feeling a little better then when they got there. I never knew how much I succeeded at this until I decided to leave.
If you are wondering what the picture has to do with Bacon Ranch breakfast hash, the answer is nothing. My friend, Ess, bought this little Angel for me to celebrate my new job. She spent a lot of time picking just the right stone for me.
I don’t know if I believe in the power of crystals and all that but I gotta say, this one is perfect for me. I need help attracting new opportunities because I sure don’t going looking for them. New opportunity means changing things and I don’t handle change of any kind well. Even though I know that there is no future for me where I work now, those voices in my head fill me up with self doubt, that I will fail at my new job. I am too old, too dumb, just too much of everything to suceed. If this can help me move past that I’ll be grateful. Those negative inner voices can really beat you up if you let them.
Bacon Ranch Breakfast Hash
Adapted From The Defined Dish
1/2 lb baby yellow potatoes, cut into fourths
2 strips compliant bacon
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 lb ground chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup baby spinach
2 TBS compliant ranch dressing
Place the potatoes in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Place sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling cook for 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Drain.
While the potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the bacon until crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Break the bacon into little pieces. Remove to a plate. Set aside.
Drain all the bacon grease except for 1 tablespoon. Once the potatoes are done, add the potatoes to the skillet with the bacon grease. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 6-8 minutes, until golden and tender. Add the spinach and cook until wilted about 2 minutes. Remove the potatoes and spinach to the plate with the bacon.
Add the ground chicken to the pan. Brown the chicken, breaking it up with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing. Continue cooking and breaking up the meat until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Once cooked, drain the fat, add the potatoes and spinach back to the pan with another tablespoon of ranch dressing. Mix well and heat through.
The older I get the more picky I am about the cookbooks I buy. I used to buy whatever cookbooks caught my eye with the glossy covers and had one recipe I wanted to cook. Now, I am all about quality over quanity. In order to make it to my cookbook collection the cookbook has to answer two questions, will I cook from it on a regular basis and does the food taste good.
Cristina Curp’s Made Whole Cookbook answered both of those questions with a resounding yes!! Let’s explore the positives. The cookbook is beautifully photographed. Each photograph makes you want to take a bite of the page. While beautiful food photos aren’t necessary for a good cookbook, they cetainly don’t hurt.
Will I cook out of Made Whole On a regular basis? Yeah, I can see this cookbook being on regular rotation in my kitchen. Every time I look through the book I see more recipes I want to try. The recipes have a reasonable number of ingredients. The ingredients are easily found in most grocery stores. The author stays away from the odd, hard to find ingredients that plague most whole food and “diet” cookbooks.
Except for a couple of recipes that contain sauces, the recipes are self contained, you don’t need to make a bunch of other recipes in order to start making the recipe you want to make.
The book has a keto-paleo focus but many of the recipes are naturally Whole 30 compliant or can easily made compliant.
The only negative, and it’s a minor one, is the book is over sized so it doesn’t for easily onto my kitchen book shelf.
So, how does the food taste? Well, I made the frittata for Satuday morning breakfast. I had 2 pieces for breakfast and the other 2 pieces for lunch. I wished that I had some leftover for dinner. It was that good. I am looking forward to exploring the cookbook further.
Brussels And Bacon Frittata
Adapted From The Made Whole Cookbook
2 1/2 slices bacon
6 large eggs
2 TBS coconut milk
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 onion, sliced
1 cup shredded Brussels sprouts
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat an 8 inch skillet, add bacon and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the bacon is crispy. In medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and dill, until light yellow, smooth and frothy.
When bacon is almost done, a the onions and sprouts to the skillet. Combine well. Cover the skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the mustard and oil. Mix well.
Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, cook undisturbed for 5 minutes, until the edges look cooked and pull away from the side of the skillet.
Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake 15 minutes. The frittata is done when the center doesn’t jiggle when shaken.
Remove the pan from the oven and run a spatula around edge of the frittata to make sure it isn’t stuck. Flip it out of the skillet onto a plate or cutting board and cut into equal pieces.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Happy new year!!! Did you go out and celebrate or stay home and kick back and relax? I was so kicked back and relaxed, I was asleep by 830 pm. Good gravy, I am getting old, lol. Today is actually the big day for me. I started my second round of Whole 30 this morning. Why put myself through a second round? I wanted to do another round because I feel better when I eat the Whole 30/ Paleo way. After my Whole 30 last April, I fell back into some bad habits, like drinking soda, and went totally off the rails at the end of August and beginning of September when some incredibly stressful shit went down in my personal life. Now that everything is better, I want to get back some of the things I lost when I stopped being fully committed to the Whole 30/ Paleo lifestyle. So for the next 30 days I am soy, dairy, grain, bean, added sugar, processed food free and my recipes will be too. Don’t worry though, I am going to include the non – Whole 30 ingredients so everyone can make the recipes whether they are Whole 30 or not.
First up, is a recipe I found in a Keto cookbook when I was home for Christmas. The recipe is for a very basic Quiche. Because it is a low carb Keto recipe, there are no onions in the recipe. Next time I would add some. You could also vary this with other vegetables or sausage instead of the bacon. Nutritional yeast is not the same as Brewer’s yeast and is a necessary part of this dish. Don’t leave it out.
Bacon Lover's Quiche (Whole30)
Adapted From A Keto Cookbook My Mom Had
3-5 strips bacon, about 3 oz
1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut milk
3 TBS nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
dash ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease 2 5 inch pie pans with olive oil or ghee; set aside. In a frying pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan, crumble and set aside. Crack eggs into a small bowl. Gently whisk until scrambled. Add the coconut milk, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix well. Divide the egg mixture between the pie plates. The pans will be almost full. Bake for 30 minutes or untill the egg is set. Let sit 30 minutes before serving.
I am not the biggest bacon fan in the world. I’ll eat it if it is on the table but I’ll always chose sausage links or patties when I make breakfast myself. So I was at a loss with what do with some leftover bacon I had from a pork chop recipe I tried. I remembered seeing a recipe for bacon baked in the oven in Christina Lanes’ Comfort and Joy cookbook and decided to try it for breakfast with my eggs.
OMG!! It was the best bacon I have ever had. It was crisp and well done. It would have been even crisper if I would have put it on a rack. It took about 12 minutes and I just cooked the eggs with the bacon for a very quick breakfast. Oh, another great thing about bacon made in the oven, it doesn’t splatter and you don’t have to flip.
Oven Baked Bacon
the amount of bacon you want to cook
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Don’t overlap it or it will stick together and you won’t ever get it apart. Bake it for about 12 minutes. Drain on paper towels.