Thursday, 8 May 2014

Strawberry Ice Cream


   It's Thursday! And it's sunny! Booooya! :)

   What have you been up too all week? Trying any new recipes? So happy to finally see the sunshine. Makes such a difference in a person's mood, hey? I thought today was a perfect day to share this ice cream recipe with you, since the weekend is supposed to be warm! Cut out all the artificial sugar and garbage and try this awesome, clean, natural ice cream! You will seriously not believe how good it is.

   If you have kids, you know the days that seem to be a hundred years long. My youngest has swimming at 9 am. For anyone that really knows me, knows that's basically the middle of the night for me! The kids and I aren't big early risers! As we are rushing through the locker room to get dressed, I put in the quarter and lock our locker. Ask me if the key came out. Nope. Stuff locked in, key stuck in the locker. Sigh. What a more practical outfit to be stranded in than ones bathing suit?? Awesome. After lessons, no one had bothered to go and look at it and now I was wet. And mad. I gave it a few mom-arm smashes and reefed the life out of it and finally got it out. Another super awesome sequence of events in a bathing suit, I might add.

   I tried to shake that little episode off as we drove home. I figured I deserved a coffee. After the longest Tim's line in recent history and Grey changing his mind about 378 times, I forgot to order my coffee. Sweet mother of Mary...what an awesome day so far, and only 10:30 in the morning!! My kids were happy, and they enjoyed their breakfast. Bonus there. I managed to wolf down some cheese and a turkey stick that I'm pretty sure one of my kids had already chewed. Whatevs. I'm just glad to be out of my bathing suit. :)

   One quick, interesting tidbit before we batch up this ice cream. One fitness article I was reading was talking about jumping jacks and how you can torch calories easily by adding them to your daily routine. It said you can burn a pound a week by doing 10 sets of 100 jacks. Now, don't go banging all 1000 of these out at once and call me from the ER when you recover from your stroke. I think if you add roughly 100 a day, not even at once, you'd be solid! I did 100 today with my workout, in sets of 20. You could even do them randomly during the day (I don't recommend Safeway as a start) not even as part of an official workout. Although that doesn't work for me because I need to cram on about 12 bras to do them, so I need to be dressed accordingly. :))

Let's do this.....

 ** will need at least a day for this one because the coconut milk needs at least 24 hours in the fridge. Buy your can, put it in the fridge without shaking it around in there, and leave it.

Strawberry Ice Cream:
You need:

1 can coconut milk, refrigerate at least 24 hours
1/3 cup honey
1.5 cups chopped strawberries (not frozen)
ice cube trays (or something similar)

Remove your can of coconut milk form the fridge, without shaking it around. Open and scoop out all the glorious cream that has formed on top. Roughly 3/4 the can. (Save the remaining water for a smoothie!)

Add the cream, strawberries and honey to the food processor. Blend until mixed and no big pieces of berry remain.

Pour into the ice cube trays. I usually get about 2 trays worth. If I have leftovers my kids just drink it! :)

Put the trays into the freezer and leave until completely frozen. I do it in the morning then we have it after supper for dessert.
Once frozen, pop out the "cubes" back into your food processor and simply process until creamy! Scraping the sides occasionally. It won't take too long,a minute or so. If you go too long it will be less like ice cream and thinner. Still yum, but not the thick texture you're looking for!

If it looks crumbly like this, just a little bit longer!

 Serve immediately!

And that's it, you're done! How easy is that, right?? We've added a frozen banana before, could do anything! Try just the berries first, until you get the hang of how you like it! Kid approved allllllllllll the way!!! Now get out in the yard and love the crap outta this, and the weekend forecast!

Enjoy! :))

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Hawaiian BBQ Crock Pot Pulled Chicken


 Hey, everyone! How's the week going? Like it needs to be said again, but man this weather is a special treat! I was so cranky this morning first thing, when I saw the snow. All the kids want to do is be outside! Still rocking the winter jackets over here, how about you?? Ughhhh!

   We have been trying to clean out the house and garage a bit these last few weeks. It is seriously amazing what a secret hoarder I am. I feel like I do a good job at decluttering and getting rid of stuff, but I'm clearly a dirty liar. My kids have toys that they don't even know where they came from! This is partly due to my mother, who thinks it needs to be Christmas morning every time she comes over! And if you have kids you know how "fun" it is to try and sort through things with them around! I'm a "night tosser". When they go to bed you can find me walking a singing, blinking, flashing garbage bag to the dumpster! No one will have a clue. :)

   I am having a blast with my new camera, and I'm so glad we got it. It's so easy to just take pictures off your cell phone, but once they are blown up bigger, they look like ass! I can't believe the amazing photos I'm getting. You'll have to never mind the extra pictures I'm adding as I learn to stage and get better quality for you, my dear fans. HAHA! Or else just my mom and my friends that I force to read my blog and try my food. I will call those people fans and they can't stop me. :)

   If you've been following my glamorous life, you'll remember a while back I was trying to get Shane more on board with the slow cooker. I am finally winning. I got a new, bigger one at Xmas and it has a timer. It was the total key. I also think it's re-donk to cook anything on high in those things! Mine is done in less time than suggested, while on low. High is scorching, burning territory! I was waiting to do my shop for 15% Tuesday, so I wasn't left with much to choose from last night. I love a one dish, low prep meal. Such a good feeling in the morning to know you have supper on the go! Then I can enjoy my daily episodes of "Sid The Science Kid" and "Peg+Cat" without being bothered by cooking!! :)  Don't know what I'm talking about? You are one lucky bugger!
I also made a savoury crepe-type wrap to serve with these, I've blogged the recipe in my previous "enchiladas" post. Obviously store bought wraps will work just fine. But they are not needed, it's good with just a good old fashioned fork, too! :)

   Let's cook this mutha' up.....

Hawaiian Pulled Chicken:
You need:
3-4 boneless chicken breasts (I used 3 and it was plenty with leftovers)
2 cups salsa
1-1.5 cups bbq sauce (depending on taste)
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 can pineapple rings, drained-juice reserved
1 Tbsp smoked paprika (use regular if you don't have smoked)
sea salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheese and avocado for serving (optional)

Get out the 'ol crock pot and turn to low.
Add your chicken breast, season with salt and pepper and layer the jalapeno and pineapple rings on top.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together your salsa and bbq sauce. Add as little or as much of the reserved pineapple juice to the mix as you like. You can also leave it out, just depending on your desired flavor. Give it a taste without and add a little at a time to see what suits you.
Once you have it dialed in, add paprika to the sauce, mix and pour over the chicken to coat. No need to stir once it's in the crockpot, just use a spoon and spread it to cover the contents.

Lid on and keep it there! Mine was done in about 3.5 hours. Once the chicken easily pulls apart and is cooked through, shred it (right in the pot) with 2 forks. Basically just pulling it apart. Put the lid back on and turn off the heat. Let the shredded chicken rest in the remaining juices until ready to serve.

Boom! Done. How easy was that, right??? I mashed up a few avocados and served with some shredded cheese and plain Greek yogurt. It was amazing, although my salsa was a tad spicier than anticipated! It was a good sinus clearing meal, if nothing! :)


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sweet Potato Fudge Brownies

Well, rainy, cold.....snowy. Sigh. What a crappy weekend, outside! Congratulations Mother Nature. The Christmas Cactus plant on my counter is blooming. You win, you dirty bastard!

   This kind of weather makes me want to bake and cook all day. On Friday's we like to have a treat day. I don't cook dinner and we usually eat out or Shane brings something home. We decided to keep it pretty low-key this week because we've had a few big treats and meals lately, so we stuck with Subway.

   I felt awesome about my decision until later in the night when I started browsing recipes at 9pm. Bad choice from the start. All of a sudden I am on the dessert section of Pinterest and fading fast! I was almost headed to the pantry to see what I could pull together! I managed to reel myself back in a bit, but I DID end up batching up a half mix of my Macadamia Nut Crunch, that I posted around Xmas. It is soooooo good, we didn't wait the whole time to let it set! Sitting in bed, eating it from the pan with a spoon. If that's wrong, mama don't wanna be right.....

    Grey has been asking for brownies forever. I was searching, looking for a good one that wouldn't toss us all into a diabetic coma. Then I came across this one. Sweet potato as the base? Say whaaaaaaa? The old me would of been interested, but assume it wouldn't be good and carry on. Once you get good at baking, you'll never want to go back to store bought stuff- promise! And, you'll realize that all these extra ingredients aren't needed to make things awesome! These sweet potato's don't even need to be cooked first, just peeled and grated. They are very choco-delish and were even better the next day. A total keeper. And if you want to get totally chocolate-wasted, you could slap some icing on there and call 'er a day! :)

   A few things I want to mention before we make these bad boys.... If you are following my Paleo board on Pinterest, and see me pinning some things that don't make sense to the norm of the eating need to slam on the Paleo Police panic button and come unglued! Someone mentioned they wondered "how closely" I follow the Paleo rules. Most times if I see a recipe that looks good, I can change it around to fit more into our lifestyle. So, I'll change out the flours, or the oils and add or take away things. I know not everyone is Paleo, and all I want to provide is recipe ideas, and help with new ingredients and cooking methods. Simple, clean eating for busy families/people. Annnnnnnnnnnd I've now lost 90 pounds, so hush up and do what I say....:)

   I'm going to add a few extra pictures today because I'm learning my new camera and trying some staging techniques, so bare with me and don't drool on the screen...mmmkay?

Sweet Potato Fudge Brownies:
You need:
1 medium-large sweet potato (white or orange)

2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raw honey
generous 1/2 cup olive oil
1 heaped Tbsp baking powder
1/2 Tbsp baking soda
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (less for a milder chocolate flavor, if you're nuts :) )\
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 cup mini carob chips for sprinkling (optional)

Heat oven to 365
Cut ends off sweet potato and peel. Shred using a grater, just like you would a block of cheese. You want the same size as grated cheese, in strings. You want aprox.2- 2.5 cups of grated potato.

 In a large mixing bowl, add grated potato, eggs, vanilla, honey and oil. Stir in baking powder and baking soda, mix. Add cocoa powder ( I use Dutch dark), mix and then dump in the coconut flour.

Grease a smaller, square glass (if you have it) dish and pour the mix in. I think my dish was 8x8....

Sprinkle the mini chips on top, if using.
Into the oven for 30-35 minutes. The original recipe says 25-30 but mine were not near set at 30. So, knowing your own oven, start checking around 25ish minutes. Please don't burn these, I think there's a law regarding wasting chocolate.....?

Once your edges are a bit crusty and you're sure the middle is set, take out and cool on racks for 10-15 min AT LEAST.....before you try and get your greedy little hands on these buggers! They really do need some time to set, so you'll be getting cake crumbs if you mess with them early!

Once cool, remove the corner slice first, get a fork and cram it down your throat. Once your family gets their eyes focused on these, that'll be the last you see of them. May as well get a bite while you can......

These were totally enough chocolate "factor" for me, I didn't bother with the icing glaze. I wanted to get a picture of the cooked inside so I could prove to you, the amazing disappearing sweet potato shreds! Promise, you'll forget they are even there. Or are you already chocolate wasted and you forgot we even added those? Either way, yum. :)

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